CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky today signed an order determining the evictions of tenants for failure to make rent or housing payments could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This order will expire on October 3, 2021 and applies in United States counties experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2.
The eviction moratorium allows additional time for rent relief to reach renters and to further increase vaccination rates. In the context of a pandemic, eviction moratoria—like quarantine, isolation, and social distancing—can be an effective public health measure utilized to prevent the spread of communicable disease. Eviction moratoria facilitate self-isolation and self-quarantine by people who become ill or who are at risk of transmitting COVID-19 by keeping people out of congregate settings and in their own homes.
The announcement comes after pressure from House Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo. The White House previously said Biden did not have the authority extend the ban, given a June Supreme Court ruling that said only Congress can enact a such a ban. Congressional Democrats did not appear to have enough votes to do so, and the House is currently in recess.
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