The CDC’s moratorium will apply to all rental units across the country until December 31 and take effect immediately, senior administration officials said over an unpublished order from the CDC agency. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a panel in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday that the moratorium would cover around 40 million tenants.
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. The moratorium will apply to any state in which there is not already a more protective ban in force, according to the ordinance. Several states have moratoriums on evictions, including California, which established new rules in a late vote on Monday.
Tenants will be eligible for moratorium protection if they have received an economic impact payment, or a stimulus check, as provided for in the CARES Act. Therefore, single renters should not earn more than $ 99,000 per year, while couples reporting jointly can earn up to $ 198,000 per year.
About 40 million people will be covered by the national moratorium on evictions, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The order, which was shared before it was published in the Federal Register on September 4, includes a statement that tenants must sign and give to their landlord. Senior Trump administration officials said the form would be available on the CDC’s website.
Tenants must state on the declaration that they cannot afford to pay their rent in full and that in the event of an eviction they would become homeless or forced to move into collective housing. Renters must also be able to prove that they made an effort to receive government assistance and that they could not pay the rent.
The moratorium does not exempt tenants from paying rent. That money is still owed to landlords, and senior administration officials have said tenants should always try to make partial payments when they can’t afford to pay in full.
Landlords will still be allowed to evict tenants in certain cases, such as cases where the tenant has destroyed a property or poses a threat to the health or safety of neighbors.
The moratorium builds on a previous executive order by President Donald Trump that ordered the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC to determine whether a halt on evictions was necessary to contain the spread of the virus that caused COVID -19.
“In the context of a pandemic, deportation moratoriums – like quarantine, isolation and social distancing – can be an effective public health measure used to prevent the spread of communicable diseases,” the order says. published from the CDC.
“President Trump is committed to helping hardworking Americans stay at home and fight the spread of the coronavirus,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern said in a briefing Tuesday .
“While a moratorium on evictions is an essential step, it is a half measure that extends a financial cliff for tenants to fall when the moratorium expires and rent is due. “
Housing advocates said the move was “long overdue,” but called for additional help for tenants facing financial hardship amid historically high unemployment caused by the pandemic.
“As we have said for five months, the least the federal government has to do is assure each of us that we will not lose our homes in the midst of a global pandemic: the administration’s action on would and will provide relief from the growing threat of eviction for millions of anxious families, ”said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
“But while a moratorium on evictions is a critical step, it’s a half measure that extends a financial cliff for tenants to fall when the moratorium expires and rent is due,” Yentel added, while calling on the Congress to pass another COVID -19 relief bill with at least $ 100 billion in emergency rent assistance. Previously, some lawmakers and activists have called for rent cancellation during the pandemic.
In Tuesday’s briefing, Trump administration officials said tenants and landlords would have access to emergency funds already in place, including billions of dollars in grants from the Department of Housing and Housing. Urban Development and the Treasury Department’s $ 142 billion coronavirus relief fund.
Administration officials were unable to clarify whether the CDC’s moratorium would prevent evictions. Housing advocates and lawyers have expressed concerns that landlords have filed evictions against many people across the country who should have been protected by the CARES law moratorium.