Following days of uncertainty and the resumption of evictions in housing courts across the country, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced a new temporary federal eviction moratorium that will remain in effect until October 3, 2021. The new order applies to counties experiencing high levels of COVID-19 spread. The covered counties amount to about 90% of the nation’s population.
The prior eviction moratorium expired on July 31. Because so much of the allocated federal rental assistance had not yet reached renters, housing advocates pushed for further protections for the millions of families at risk of eviction. Currently, only about $3 million or 6.5 percent of the $45 billion allocated by Congress has been distributed leaving tenants and landlords with uncertainty and frustration.
Tuesday’s two-month extension comes as a welcome relief for the more than 11 million renters currently behind on rent. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 3.7 million Americans were evicted every year, or seven every minute. The extended moratorium adds time for rental assistance to reach communities has prevented not only a wave of evictions but a likely jump in COVID-19 cases and unnecessary suffering.
It is vital that rent relief reaches communities before the new moratorium comes to an end. Family Promise recognizes that the pandemic has exacerbated preexisting housing inequalities and had a disproportionate impact on women, communities of color, and low-income communities. Our Affiliates have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep families housed and protected from COVID-19. The new moratorium will allow families to temporarily stay in their homes and keep millions safe from COVID-19, but there remains a need for a long-term solution to our nation’s eviction and homelessness crisis.