The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has renewed the expired moratorium on evictions of rental housing tenants, ignoring a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said the moratorium needed to conclude on July 31.
What Happened: CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed an order stating the eviction moratorium would remain in place through Oct. 3 in counties experiencing substantial and high levels of COVID-19 transmission levels.
“The emergence of the delta variant has led to a rapid acceleration of community transmission in the United States, putting more Americans at increased risk, especially if they are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Walensky in a statement. “This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID-19 spreads.”
Dr. Walensky warned that mass evictions could create a new COVID-19 surge that would be difficult to contain.
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Why It Matters: The moratorium was created by an executive order signed last August by President Donald Trump to protect tenants who missed monthly rent payments due to COVID-19 pandemic-related financial hardships from being forced out of their homes. The executive order was designed to end Dec. 31, 2020, but Congress extended it through January and the CDC extended it three additional times.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June in a 5-4 decision that the moratorium must expire on July 31, the final date set in the third CDC extension. Justice Brett Kavanaugh stated he would block any further extensions that were made without “clear and specific congressional authorization.”
President Joe Biden initially said he was unable to renew the moratorium unilaterally and called on Congress to extend the moratorium but no legislative action was taken on the issue. It is unclear how the Supreme Court will respond to the CDC’s decision to ignore its ruling.
Photo: Marco Verch / Flickr Creative Commons.
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