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| Editor’s note: On Aug. 26, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a moratorium on evictions ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The moratorium, originally imposed last year in response to the pandemic, had been extended to Oct. 3. Renters and landlords looking for assistance can use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Rental Assistance Finder tool to search for information on rental assistance in their area.
Renters have another 60 days to pay up, seek assistance or move as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD) gave a limited 60-day extension to the national eviction moratorium.
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About 8.1 million renters were behind on their payments in mid-June, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Another 4.5 million said they thought they faced eviction. The 60-day extension of the July 31 deadline means that renters will have until Oct. 3 before eviction proceedings can start. Not all will be evicted, but the end of the moratorium on Oct. 3 means that as many as 6.2 million adults who are behind on their rent are are at risk of eviction in October.
Congress appropriated about $46 billion in rental assistance in coronavirus relief packages; very little has been spent so far, and 80 to 90 percent is still available to renters and landlords who need it. Here's what renters can and can't do to stay in their homes as the moratorium ends.
The eviction moratorium
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ordered the eviction moratorium to slow the spread of COVID-19, under the assumption that a rash of evictions during the pandemic-induced economic shutdown would further spread the disease. Courts have upheld the order, which has now been extended five times. The order was first issued Sept. 4. The CDC’s most recent extension, issued August 3, covers areas “experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels” of COVID-19 cases, according to the CDC statement. The eviction ban will cover about 80 percent of the country and expire October 3.
“This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of congregate settings where COVID-19 spreads,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “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 (COVID-19) transmission. Such mass evictions and the attendant public health consequences would be very difficult to reverse."