The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled on June 2 that it would continue to stay a lower court ruling seeking to overturn the CDC eviction moratorium. This latest ruling leaves the moratorium in-place, so that millions of households behind on their rent continue to receive eviction protections. Moreover, the court, which is the highest court to date to address the eviction moratorium, noted that the Department of Justice “made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed” on its appeal of the lower court’s order to overturn the moratorium.
The Court of Appeals decision is good news for the millions of renters who remain stably housed because of the protections under the CDC eviction moratorium. Currently, more than 6 million renter households report being behind on rent and are at heightened risk of eviction, almost twice the number of homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure in the 2008 financial crisis.
In response to the stay, a group representing the interests of landlords and led by the Alabama Association of Realtors on June 3 appealed the issue the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the highest court to issue an order nullifying the stay and allowing moratorium protections to end immediately. In an interview, NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel noted that “if [landlord groups] spent even a quarter of [their] effort instead convincing landlords to apply for and accept the money, maybe they wouldn’t feel such a pressing need to evict low-income tenants who fell behind on rent during the global pandemic.”
In a separate case against the moratorium brought forward in the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, a judge issued a statement on June 3 clarifying the impact of the court’s earlier decision that the CDC exceeded its statutory authority in issuing the moratorium. The statement notes the court’s ruling applies only to the plaintiffs in the case, including the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) and its members. However, because the court decision only binds the parties to the case, tenants who live in properties owned by NAHB members are not bound by the decision and may still seek eviction protections through the CDC moratorium, as long as they are not party to the original court case.
The CDC eviction moratorium has provided vital protections to millions of people impacted by the pandemic. If it is overturned or allowed to expire after June 30, millions of renters will be at immediate risk of losing their homes. NLIHC will continue to urge the Biden administration to defend, enforce, and extend the moratorium until emergency rental assistance funds provided by Congress reach the renters most in need and most at risk of losing their homes.
Read Diane Yentel’s statement on the federal appeals court ruling at: https://tinyurl.com/yw6jmd55