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Representatives Adams and Clay Lead Letter Urging Changes to CDC Eviction Moratorium

Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC) and Lacy Clay (D-MO) sent a letter on November 9 to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar urging them to rescind the CDC’s recent moratorium guidance, extend the eviction moratorium through March, and enforce the moratorium more strongly. The letter, on which NLIHC provided advice, was cosigned by 30 members of Congress.

The letter argues the CDC’s October 9 guidance (see Memo, 10/13) undermines the intent of the order by creating new burdens for renters and new holes in eviction protections. The guidance counters the original order, allowing landlords to challenge tenant declarations and initiate eviction proceedings at any time. This change shifts the burden of gathering paperwork and evidence to renters struggling to remain stably housed during the pandemic and gives landlords new opportunities to intimidate and pressure tenants who are behind on rent.

The CDC’s order expires on December 31, 2020. The letter urges the CDC to extend the order until March 31, 2021, to ensure renters remain stably housed until that time.  Evicting tenants in the middle of winter and in the midst of a pandemic – as landlords will be able to do when the moratorium expires – increases the risk of transmitting coronavirus and prolonging the pandemic.

The letter requests the agencies issue new guidance requiring landlords to inform tenants of the eviction moratorium and providing stronger mechanisms to enforce penalties against landlords who violate the moratorium. The original order does not provide a suitable pathway for action against landlords acting unlawfully.

Read the letter at: https://tinyurl.com/y3bu7sct

View Representative Adams’ Press Release on the letter at: https://tinyurl.com/y42nkc9z