Trump Administration Announces New Eviction Moratorium, Effective Immediately
The Trump Administration announced Tuesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will use its authority to temporarily ban residential evictions for certain renters through the end of the year.
The moratorium will apply to those individuals who expect to earn $99,000 or less in 2020 (or couples filing jointly who expect to earn $198,000 or less)—those who received a stimulus check this year, or would have been eligible based on their 2020 income, are also eligible.
Renters seeking protection under the new program must certify that they are unable to pay their rent because of the coronavirus crisis, that they are likely to become homeless if they are forced to leave their homes, and that they undertook their best effort to obtain other government assistance to make their rental payments.
Renters who receive protection under the program will also have to certify that they are paying as much rent as they can afford, the CDC order says.
When the moratorium expires at the end of the year, renters who received protection will still need to make up missed payments to their landlords.
Senior administration officials said because the CDC has authority to take reasonable efforts to combat the spread of communicable diseases, it has the authority to intervene in a landlord-tenant relationship during the current public health crisis.
Unlike earlier Covid-19 federal housing protections, which applied only to properties with federally backed mortgages, this moratorium will apply to all rental units in the United States (but only for those renters who qualify), the administration officials said.
According to the Aspen Institute, between 30 and 40 million Americans could be at risk of eviction in the next several months.
During a Tuesday hearing before the House subcommittee investigating the federal response to the coronavirus crisis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that while his “first choice” would be legislation that includes rental assistance, the unilateral action from the Trump administration would ensure that people impacted by the pandemic “don’t get thrown out of their homes.”
Banning evictions without compensating landlords for lost rent has led some experts to call into question the effectiveness of an order like this one, CNBC reported.
After stimulus negotiations between top Democrats and Trump administration officials fell apart in early August, President Trump signed four executive actions intended to prop up several key areas of the economy. He created a new lost wage assistance program that will allow states to send out a $300 weekly federal unemployment supplement, intended to replace a $600 weekly supplement that expired at the end of July. That program has been slow to get off the ground in most states. He also extended protections for federal student loan borrowers, scheduled to expire at the end of September, until the end of the year and created a Social Security payroll tax deferral program that went into effect on September 1—provided, that is, that an employer is willing to participate. In his executive action on evictions, he directed federal agencies to consider whether additional aid would be necessary, though he did not explicitly extend the moratorium established by the CARES Act in March. The new CDC program is the result of that order.
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