The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will extend an order preventing the eviction of some people from their homes until March 31, the agency’s new director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said Wednesday.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to our nation's health. It has also triggered a housing affordability crisis that disproportionately affects some communities,” Walensky said in a statement.
“Despite extensive mitigation efforts, COVID-19 continues to spread in America at a concerning pace. We must act to get cases down and keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings — like shelters — where COVID-19 can take an even stronger foothold.”
The incoming Biden administration had highlighted the eviction moratorium as one of its key targets on day one. It was set to expire at the end of the month.
What impact will it have? “This means that a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue an eviction or a possessory action cannot evict for nonpayment of rent any covered person from any residential property in any US state or U.S. territory where the Order applies,” the CDC says on its website.
The order only covers limited numbers of people.
Tenants and other residents must show they have exhausted best efforts to get government help to pay rent; earn $99,000 a year or less; and cannot make payment because of a loss of income or extraordinary medical costs. To qualify, the tenant also must be trying to pay at least something and must swear they will be made homeless by eviction, or forced to move to congregate living settings.