Tenant rights activists hold a protest outside the home of New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh to protest what they claim is insufficient legislative relief for tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic and to call for the cancellation of the rent, February 28, 2021 in the East. New York Village neighborhood.
Andrew Lichtenstein | Corbis News | Getty Images
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the nation’s ban on evictions until the end of June.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the country’s public health,” CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregated places – like homeless shelters – by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
The deportation ban was due to expire in two days, and lawyers have warned of an increase in deportations without an extension.
About 20% of adult renters said they did not pay last month’s rent, according to a survey released in March by the Census Bureau. Almost 33% of black renters reported the same.
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The health agency’s decision to extend the ban for three months is likely the fact that the mass evictions could undermine the country’s attempts to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control. This is because many displaced people are doubling down with family members or friends or are forced to turn to crowded shelters.
During the pandemic, 43 states and the District of Columbia temporarily banned evictions, some for as little as 10 weeks. Researchers found that continued deportations in those states resulted in as many as 433,700 additional cases of Covid-19 and 10,700 additional deaths in the United States between March and September, when the CDC ban went into effect throughout. the country.
“When you look at an infectious disease like Covid-19, evictions can impact not only the health of evicted families, but also the health of the community at large,” said Kathryn Leifheit, one of the authors of the study and a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
At least two federal judges have questioned the CDC’s power to ban evictions. And the owners criticized the policy and said the owners couldn’t afford to continue housing people for free.
“Short-term policies like moratoriums on evictions leave tenants racking up insurmountable debt and jeopardize the ability of rental housing providers to provide safe and affordable housing,” said Bob Pinnegar, president of the National Apartment Association .
Housing experts said it would not have made sense to let the eviction ban expire before housing assistance was paid to people. Congress has now allocated more than $ 45 billion in tenant aid, but it could take a few months for the money to flow.
The CDC’s deportation ban applies to people earning less than $ 99,000 a year and couples earning less than $ 198,000. To be eligible, tenants must also certify on a declaration to their landlord that they cannot afford their rent and that being evicted could cause them to double up with others or become homeless.