A few days before its expiration, the national eviction ban was extended for another three months.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday it will continue the moratorium through June.
“Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of Covid-19,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement, CNBC reported.
According to a Census Bureau survey published this month, about 20 percent of adult renters said they did not pay their February rent. The nonpayment rate was nearly 33 percent among Black renters.
At least two federal judges have ruled the CDC lacks the power to suspend evictions, but they have not changed the policy while the agency appeals. Landlords say the measure effectively requires them to provide housing for free, as they have no recourse if tenants do not pay.
“Short-term policies like eviction moratoria leave renters accruing insurmountable debt and jeopardize the ability for rental housing providers to provide safe, affordable housing,” Bob Pinnegar, president of the National Apartment Association, told CNBC.
In a joint statement with the National Multifamily Housing Council, the landlord group called the extension deeply disappointing.
“After grappling with the financial distress of the pandemic and eviction moratoriums for more than a year, housing providers have few resources left,” the statement said. “Another extension only serves to exacerbate the challenges facing the rental housing industry and does not address the underlying financial stress of apartment residents.”
A rent backlog of $57 billion had accrued as of January, leading to predictions of a reckoning for tenants.
Housing experts said the CDC’s extension was necessary because $45 billion in rental, utility and mortgage assistance in Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package will require a few months to be disbursed.
[CNBC] — Akiko Matsuda