It will most likely take some time for the backlog of eviction cases in many states to move tenants. But tenant groups in the South, where accelerated evictions are common, are bracing for the worst.
In recent days, Mr Biden’s team has strategized to deal with the likely loss of the moratorium, with a plan to focus efforts on a handful of states – including South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Ohio – which have significant arrears. unpaid rent and little statewide protections for tenants.
The administration initially concluded that a Supreme Court ruling in June had effectively banned it from imposing a new moratorium after a previous one expired at the end of July. While the administration prevailed in that decision by a 5-4 vote, a member of the majority, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, wrote that he believed the moratorium was illegal and had voted for it. hold temporarily only to allow an orderly transition. He would not support a further extension without “clear and specific authorization from Congress (via new legislation),” he wrote.
Congress did not act. But after political pressure from Democrats, an upsurge in the pandemic and a new review of legal issues, the administration declared on August 3 the moratorium that was the subject of the new decision.
The administration’s legal maneuvers may have failed, but they saved time for tenants threatened with eviction. In unusually candid remarks this month, President Biden said it was part of his calculation to decide whether to proceed with the new moratorium, which was due to expire on October 3.
Congress declared a moratorium on evictions at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but it lapsed in July 2020. The CDC then issued a series of its own moratoriums, saying they were justified by the need to fight pandemic and authorized by a law of 1944.. People unable to pay their rent, the agency said, should not be forced to crowd in with relatives or take refuge in homeless shelters, spreading the virus.
The latest moratorium – which was put in place by the CDC in September and expired on July 31 after being repeatedly extended by Congress and Mr Biden – succeeded in meeting its target, cutting the number of eviction cases that would normally have been filed since last fall, according to a file analysis by the Princeton University eviction lab.