The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday issued a final extension of the national moratorium on evictions through July 31 as the Biden administration announced a series of actions involving several federal agencies on housing affordability and evictions. (White House Fact Sheet, Associated Press, Washington Post and New York Times, June 24)
Sluggish Aid Distribution
- The CDC indicated its action would be the final extension of the federal-level tenant eviction moratorium, first enacted by Congress in March 2020 through the CARES Act pandemic relief law. “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,” according to the June 24 CDC announcement. (Congressional Research Service, Federal Eviction Moratoriums)
- The extension also allows more time for federal officials to improve the sluggish distribution of billons in pandemic housing aid authorized by Congress. The urgent financial needs of millions of tenants nationwide have overwhelmed local officials struggling to provide financial assistance under current rules. (Wall Street Journal, June 7)
- The White House’s announcement yesterday of actions to help state and local governments prevent evictions included a planned summit on housing affordability and evictions, along with new guidance from the Treasury Department aimed at streamlining distribution of emergency aid for renters behind on payment to their housing providers.
- The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) yesterday also extended the foreclosure moratorium for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until July 31. (FHFA news release)
Tenants and Housing Providers
- The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) on June 24 stated, “The continuation of a nationwide, one-size-fits-all, federal eviction moratorium is out of step with the significant progress made in controlling COVID-19 and restoring the economy. Instead of this blanket federal policy, this pandemic has already shown that targeted, efficient relief works.
- The statement also noted that earlier this month NMHC released Principles to Work with Residents, which offer practical steps housing providers can take to work hand-in-hand with residents and demonstrate the good faith with which property owners and managers have supported their residents.
State and Local Action
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom, above, and state legislators today agreed to a plan to reimburse housing providers for past-due rent incurred by lower-income tenants during the state’s pandemic eviction moratorium – along with an extension of the moratorium until Sept. 30. (Los Angeles Times, June 25)
- A senior housing advisor to Newsom told the Associated Press that California likely has enough money from the $5.2 billion in multiple aid packages approved by Congress to cover all of the unpaid rent in the state.
- Other states and cities have a variety of deadlines related to their own eviction moratoria. CNBC reports that at least 28 state rental aid programs bar landlords from evicting tenants for at least the time period covered by the aid – and in some cases for between 30 and 90 days afterward.
The Roundtable is part of a broad real estate coalition that has consistently urged state, county and municipal officials to distribute the billions in allocated federal funds as soon as possible. (Coalition letter, April 15)
# # #