Biden Administration Issues New Limited Eviction Moratorium

The Biden administration is issuing a new eviction moratorium in the wake of criticism from liberal lawmakers after a previous ban on evictions was allowed to expire over the weekend.

According to details released late Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the new moratorium will be more targeted than the blanket prohibition that was in place previously. The CDC said it would apply to counties “experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels” of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The CDC will define which counties the moratorium applies to. If the transmission rate in a county drops before the moratorium expires, it will no longer apply. The opposite is true for any county where the moratorium won’t initially be in effect if transmission rates worsen.

“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. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC.

“This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID-19 spreads,” Walensky added. “It is imperative that public health authorities act quickly to mitigate such an increase of evictions, which could increase the likelihood of new spikes in SARS-CoV-2 transmission.  Such mass evictions and the attendant public health consequences would be very difficult to reverse.”

The CDC’s order cited research suggesting that Americans at a higher risk of eviction are also more likely to be unvaccinated against COVID-19. The order only applies to evictions based on the nonpayment of rent — as with the previous prohibition, evictions for other reasons such as criminal activity or violating other lease obligations will be allowed.

As with the previous moratorium, protection does not apply automatically. Rather, residents who cannot pay the rent must provide a signed declaration to their landlord, which is available on the CDC website.

People who previously submitted declarations under the prior moratorium will still be protected from eviction and do not need to submit a new declaration. In situations where an eviction was ordered but not completed, those residents are allowed to stay in their homes under the new moratorium.

The new order will expire on Oct. 3.


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