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Law360 (June 24, 2021, 3:01 PM EDT) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday extended its moratorium on residential evictions for one month, but said it expects the latest extension to be its last.
The moratorium, which has been in place for upward of a year, had been set to expire June 30 and will now expire July 31, the CDC said Thursday.
The measure has been a cornerstone of the federal government's attempt to help homeowners who have struggled to pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the nation's public health. 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," the CDC said in a statement Thursday.
The CDC first put the moratorium in place in September 2020, and the initial ban ran through the end of that year. The centers subsequently renewed it amid concerns of a wave of evictions.
Per the moratorium, renters who make less than $99,000 a year or joint earners with a combined income of less than $198,000 can't be evicted on the basis of failing to pay rent.
The latest extension drew criticism from certain civil liberties groups as well as from the housing industry.
"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," the National Multifamily Housing Council said in a statement Thursday. "Instead of this blanket federal policy, this pandemic has already shown that targeted, efficient relief works."
New Civil Liberties Alliance on Thursday criticized the latest extension as being put in place as a way to avoid a "glut of cases" that may come once the moratorium is lifted.
And while administration officials Thursday acknowledged state courts are facing enormous backlogs, officials said the latest steps strike an appropriate balance between protecting landlords' rights and helping tenants to stay in their homes. The White House on Thursday also said the Federal Housing Finance Agency will extend its foreclosure moratorium for Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages until the end of July.
The White House in a statement Thursday said its latest steps are designed "to keep people in their homes by protecting renters and homeowners who are still experiencing shocks from the pandemic and its economic fallout."
--Additional reporting by Dave Simpson. Editing by Stephen Berg.
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