Landlords, Real Estate Groups Ask Judge to Block CDC’s New Eviction Moratorium

Isabel van Brugen
By Isabel van Brugen
August 5, 2021US News
Landlords, Real Estate Groups Ask Judge to Block CDC’s New Eviction Moratorium
The headquarters for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seen in Atlanta, Ga., on March 6, 2020. (Ron Harris/AP Photo)

A group of real estate entities on Wednesday night issued a legal challenge in a Washington district court to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new eviction moratorium.

Landlords, real-estate companies, and property-management groups, including the Alabama Association of Realtors and its counterpart in Georgia, argued in their emergency motion that the latest eviction order (pdf) issued by the Biden administration’s CDC, exceeds the agency’s powers, according to a statement from the National Association of Realtors.

The groups requested Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to halt the new protections, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent order that the CDC could not extend the moratorium without new legislation.

The National Association of Realtors said in its statement that roughly half of all housing providers “are mom-and-pop operators” and without rental income, “they cannot pay their own bills or maintain their properties.”

The nationwide moratorium on evictions was first implemented by the CDC in September 2020 amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic as some tenants struggled to pay rent.

The agency announced a 60-day moratorium on Tuesday, a day after the White House said the agency lacked the authority to do so. The new eviction moratorium will last 60 days, expiring on Oct. 3.

It is intended to target “specific areas of the country” where COVID-19 cases are surging and “likely would be exacerbated by mass evictions,” the agency said, noting that this will apply to about 80 percent of U.S. counties or about 90 percent of the U.S. population.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky in a statement cited the emergence of the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant, which now accounts for at least 80 percent of new cases in the country, as the reason for the emergency action.

It comes as roughly 6.5 million households are behind on rental payments, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There are nearly 110 million Americans living in rental households and 19 million to 23 million of them are at risk of eviction by Sept. 30, according to a study by the Aspen Financial Security Program.

In June, the moratorium was extended for a further 30 days, with officials saying it would be the final extension. That extension expired on Saturday.

The Supreme Court ruled in late June that Congress must approve any extension to the moratorium. Last month, a federal court later ruled that the CDC had exceeded its authority in halting evictions.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday then defended the new eviction moratorium, telling reporters that President Joe Biden “would not have supported moving forward with any action where he didn’t feel there was legal standing and legal support.”

The Biden administration didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.

From The Epoch Times

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