CDC declares house eviction health hazard, issues moratorium

CDC declares house eviction health hazard, issues moratorium

Residential evictions, as per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) latest announcement, is now banned across the U.S. until the end of the year.

Amid calls from cash-strapped tenants, house eviction is now prohibited in all states of America thanks to the Centers for Disease Control. The institution has recently issued a four-month eviction moratorium, which halts all rent payments until the end of 2020,

CDC bans house eviction until the end of 2020

Last Tuesday, September 1, the CDC declared residential eviction as a national health hazard during a pandemic. The institution also states that the prohibition is simply a measure “to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.”

CDC’s decision came following calls from tenants, as well as advocates, to extend the federal moratorium on house eviction which has expired at the end of July.

However, based on CDC’s the order, couples who earn less than US$198,000 and those individuals who earn less than $99,000 in 2020 are eligible to apply for the moratorium, given that the said individual or couple is about to be evicted or may need to move in with family or friends.

Although the relief is limited, it could still help nearly 40 million folks, per Aspen Institute.

Moreover, tenants would also need to apply through a form provided by the CDC. Separately, the CEO of Enterprise Community Partners Priscilla Almodovar said that some rules need to be ironed out first during his interview with CNBC’s Make It.

CDC declares house eviction health hazard, issues moratorium

Overall, tenants would have to prove that they are eligible and could not pay rent due to pandemic-related circumstances.

Measure lacks financial aid

While housing and tenant advocates commended the institution’s surprising move, many of them said it lacks a necessary relief which they said is a monetary aid.

A law professor from Wake Forest University, for instance, argued that tenants, as well as landlords, need financial relief to halt them from falling further into debt.

“The CDC order is really quite extraordinary, but if it’s not coupled with rental assistance, it’s just pushing the issue down the line and it will snowball into a crisis that landlords and tenants will be recovering from for decades,” Emily Benfer, co-creator of the COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard, told CNBC.

Benfer also said that to cover the deficit, they will need $100 billion and that investment is “far less expensive” compared to the cost of homelessness.

The Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders shared the same concern too.

“Without sufficient rental income, a number of properties would be pushed into foreclosure,” said Chuck Fowke and added that the Congress must move now to help landlords and renters.

On the one hand, administration officials said landlords can ask financial assistance using the money left from CARES Act Funds as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grants.

But experts claim most of the money is gone.

Images courtesy of James Frid, Anna Shvets/Pexels

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