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Statement from NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel on CDC Eviction Moratorium Extension, Improvements and Additional Rental Assistance Needed

Washington, DC – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued today an order extending the federal moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent through March 31, following the executive order issued by President Biden on his first day in office.

The eviction moratorium – previously slated to expire on January 31 – will help keep millions of renters stably housed during the pandemic. Without this critical action by the Biden administration, tens of millions of renters would have been at immediate risk of losing their homes this winter, with enormous, negative consequences for individuals, families, communities, and our nation’s public health and economy.

The steps taken by the CDC are critically needed; they are not, however, enough to protect renters during the pandemic. In addition to extending the eviction moratorium, the Biden administration must strengthen and enforce the order. The existing order has significant flaws that undermine its public health benefits – flaws outlined in a letter to the president by NLIHC and 2,000 national, state, and local organizations and elected officials. NLIHC has requested a meeting with CDC director Rochelle Walensky to discuss these and other necessary reforms.

President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen must also rescind Trump-administration emergency rental assistance guidance and reissue new guidance to ensure that rental assistance quickly reaches renters most at risk of eviction. And the Biden administration must work with Congress to enact a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package that includes NLIHC’s top housing and homelessness priorities. The COVID-19 relief package proposed by President Biden includes much-needed $30 billion in emergency rental assistance and $5 billion to prevent and respond to outbreaks among homeless populations, but additional resources and provisions are needed to fully address America’s urgent health and housing needs.