Millions of households could face eviction over the next month and some have predicted a full-blown eviction crisis, just as a surge in Covid cases from the highly contagious Delta variant may be prompting renewed calls for people to stay home and keep their distance. While Congressional lawmakers are on their annual August recess, the CDC is expected to take new action on Tuesday to protect renters at risk of being evicted after progressive Democrats waged a pressure campaign in recent days criticizing the White House for allowing the eviction moratorium to expire.
The original ban was put in place in September in an effort to keep people in their homes. The moratorium was extended multiple times, but the CDC made clear in June that a court order prohibited them from extending it beyond July 31. Just days before the expiration, President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass an extension to the moratorium, arguing that he lacked the authority to do so unilaterally. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ultimately declined to hold a vote on an extension after it became clear she lacked enough Democratic support for it to pass, prompting some progressive lawmakers to lead protests outside the Capitol over the weekend.
President Biden declined to preview the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s announcement when asked by reporters on Tuesday afternoon. But he said he expects them to act, acknowledging that the effort will likely be challenged in court. “My hope is it’s going to be a new moratorium, that in some way — and I’m not going to announce it now, I’ll let them announce it — in some way covers close to 90 percent of the American people or renters,” the President said.
This is a fully preventable housing crisis in the middle of a pandemic. The CDC must step up and protect our public health by extending the eviction moratorium while we keep getting emergency assistance out the door. https://t.co/38lH5mavC3
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 2, 2021
News of the extension drew praise from House Democrats who had been unhappy that the moratorium was allowed to expire on Saturday.
BIG: CDC is adopting an eviction moratorium for the vast majority of the population.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 3, 2021
The White House and Speaker Pelosi urged states to do a better job sending out emergency rental assistance funding, which was included as part of the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan. The funding is supposed to help tenants financially impacted by Covid pay for rent and utilities, but many states have struggled to set up efficient programs to get the money to people in need. Only a small fraction of the federal funds have actually been spent.
Pres. Biden says he's not sure if the upcoming eviction moratorium decision from the CDC will hold constitutionally, but that he hopes it will "give some additional time" to give out rental assistance funds. pic.twitter.com/V78AOusRe5
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 3, 2021
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” this week and candidly spoke to the issues regarding the eviction moratoriums. Watch the full segment, below.