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CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium To June 30 Amid Legal Challenges

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's office complex in Atlanta, Georgia

The federal eviction moratorium has been extended once again, even as its flaws have grown more apparent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended its moratorium on all residential evictions from March 31 to June 30, the agency announced on Monday, two days before the order was set to expire. The moratorium was first put into place on Sept. 1, 2020, and was set to expire on Dec. 31 before the prior extension.

As part of the first coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress last spring, evictions were halted for all properties with federally backed mortgages. The overall moratorium put in place in September requires applications from tenants, including proof that they have applied for federal rental assistance and that their inability to pay is connected to the pandemic.

The application requirement and the lack of a coordinated national effort to raise awareness about the moratorium have combined to limit its effectiveness. Eviction numbers are considerably higher in states and cities without moratoriums of their own, which tend to be more sweeping and more enforceable than the CDC's, according to nonprofit Eviction Lab at Princeton University.

The moratorium has also been challenged in federal courts several times and on varying grounds, meeting with mixed results. Judges in Texas and Ohio ruled that the CDC exceeded its constitutional authority, while others in Louisiana and Georgia sided with the federal agency.

While the federal moratorium has provided some protection against evictions, it has no effect on missed rent payments and the debt associated with them. Rent debt has been at critical levels for months, and states and cities have been slow to pass along the multiple rounds of rent relief awarded as part of two Congressional stimulus bills in the past four months. Landlords not receiving rent from tenants kept in place by eviction moratoriums have also been losing billions while awaiting government aid.