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Eviction moratorium extended: what's the new date and how many people will benefit?

The last-minute extension by the CDC prevented the imminent eviction of thousands of Americans, but the support won't last forever.

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Eviction moratorium extended: what's the new date and how many people will benefit?
Kevin Dietsch AFP

How long is the new moratorium?

The new moratorium will last until October 3 2021, two months after the decision was made.

Why is the moratorium continuing?

The CDC says that evictions during a public health crisis would accelerate the spread of covid-19. The surge in cases is due to the hyper-infectious Delta variant which is forcing states to roll back their plans for reopening. The moratorium gives families who have been affected by the pandemic more chance to access support available during the pandemic, such as the Child Tax Credit.

How many people will be helped?

The moratorium is not country wide like the first one. Instead, the CDC has issued an eviction ban in counties, “experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels” of in covid-19. While seemingly more targeted than the initial ban, the move covers 80% of renters and 90% of the American population.

It is estimated 11 million adults are behind on rental payments according to the Census Bureau. Roughly 1.4 million households said they could “very likely” be evicted from their rentals in the next two months and another 2.2 million say they’re “somewhat likely” to be evicted. There is supposed to have been $47 billion of rental assistant to provide during the pandemic but only 6.5% of that money has been delivered, leaving renters in the lurch.

Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) said, “This is a tremendous relief for millions of people who were on the cusp of losing their homes and, with them, their ability to stay safe during the pandemic."

What is the legal basis of the extension?

Previously, the White House said they did not have the power to extend the moratorium after a supreme court ruling in June declared that only Congress had the power to extend it. However, the end of the ban came August 1 and there was not enough time to try to extend it as many Senators were already on the August recess.

Democrat Representatives staged a protest outside the Capitol building in protest at the lack of support for renters. Representative Cori Bush slept on the steps of the building for five nights as calls from Progressive Democrats rose in volume as the moratorium passed.

U.S. Representative Cori Bush thanks the demonstrators who joined her protest after the news that the CDC issued a new 60-day moratorium.

Perhaps bowing under the growing political pressure, the CDC took the decision into their own hands. In their statement of August 3, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said:

"This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where covid-19 spreads. It is imperative that public health authorities act quickly to mitigate such an increase of evictions, which could increase the likelihood of new spikes in SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Such mass evictions and the attendant public health consequences would be very difficult to reverse."

For now renters are protected, but the extension is expected to meet legal challenges over whether the CDC has the authority to take such a move.