The Justice Department called for a hold on a U.S. district judge’s Wednesday order to overturn the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent’s (CDC) federal eviction moratorium, leaving the moratorium in place for now. A coalition of landlords and property owners brought the suit to court arguing that the CDC did not have authority to issue a federal eviction ban. The approval, and subsequent halting, comes at a time when federal funds are being dispersed for rental relief for the first time, according to CNBC. Funds are available to renters behind on payments due to COVID-related job loss or reduction in hours and are paid directly to landlords.
The CDC order helps keep renters stably housed between the time they apply for the assistance and when actually receive it, says Legal Aid’s Cedfeldt. Evicting people now doesn’t make sense if landlords want to recoup some of their losses, she says.
“It’s very scary for renters right now and especially scary for people who are still trying to get rental assistance,” Cedfeldt says. The assistance process typically takes a while to complete and involves multiple “bureaucratic hoops to jump through.”
“Without the CDC order, renters can be evicted even though they’re trying to catch up,” she says.
The eviction ban, put in place by the CDC in September 2020 and recently extended by President Joe Biden through the end of June, was enacted to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 by keeping tenants who lost income stably housed through the pandemic.