Washington, DC – Yesterday, a federal district court judge ruled the CDC federal eviction moratorium unconstitutional. He did not issue an injunction, leaving the protections of the moratorium still in place, but the ruling and its effects are deeply concerning. The ruling could put millions of struggling renters at risk of losing their homes during the pandemic.
According to the Census Bureau, nearly one in five renters – disproportionately Black and Latino renters – are behind on their rent. Experts estimate that these households owe over $50 billion in rent and utilities arrears. Congress approved $25 billion in emergency rental assistance, and will soon vote on providing another $20 billion for this purpose. States and localities need time to get these funds to renters and landlords, to eliminate rent arrears and provide housing stability during the pandemic. Without federal intervention to uphold the eviction moratorium until rental assistance is distributed, tens of millions of people could lose their homes.
This court decision must not stand, the federal government must vigorously defend, extend, strengthen and enforce the CDC order. Evictions risk lives, drive families deeper into poverty, and strain our already overstretched public health systems. When our collective health depends on an ability to stay in our home, we all have a stake in ensuring that tens of millions of renters don’t lose theirs.
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