- A warning in the CDC’s freeze on evictions means some counties may lose their protection.
- The new ordinance applies to counties that experience “high” transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
- The order will no longer apply when these counties remain at “controllable levels for 14 consecutive days”.
the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new eviction freeze applies to counties with “high” transmission of the COVID-19 virus. But it appears the provision will no longer apply when those counties remain at “controllable levels for 14 consecutive days,” according to the CDC.
The Biden administration ordered the CDC to draft a new ordinance after the agency’s federal moratorium on evictions, which had been in place since September 2020, expired on July 31, 2021, without any congressional legislation to extend it.
CDC announced policy Tuesday evening and the new order will expire on October 3rd.
“The emergence of the delta variant has led to a rapid acceleration of community transmission in the United States, putting more Americans at increased risk, especially if they are not vaccinated,” said the CDC director, Rochelle Walensky, in a press release. “This moratorium is the right thing to do to keep people in their homes and out of gathering places where COVID-19 is spreading. “
Still, the ordinance ties a moratorium on evictions to rates of infection with the virus. It applies to counties not covered today that experience “high” viral transmission in the future. But once viral infections drop to controllable levels for two weeks, the order no longer applies, triggering the threat of eviction again.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Still, experts say more tenants will likely be protected by the order in the short term, given the growing number of cases of the Delta variant in most parts of the country.
“Unfortunately, COVID cases are increasing so rapidly in the United States that it is likely that the order will cover more and more people over the next 60 days, not less,” said Julia Raifman, health policy expert. at Boston University, at Insider. “A federal order is much better than no federal order, so if it was that order or nothing, much better.”
Following pressure from Progressive Representative Cori Bush – who led a sleep protest outside the Senate building for 5 days – as well as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the Democratic Party, the Biden administration reversed its position on Tuesday and the CDC introduced a new eviction freeze should cover 90% of tenants, with caveats.
Still, Biden suggested at a press conference on Tuesday that the plan may not work due to a Supreme Court ruling last month. An opinion from Judge Brett Kavanaugh – who joined the majority in a 5-4 decision – said any further extension must come from Congress.
“Any call for a moratorium based on the recent Supreme Court ruling is likely to run into obstacles,” Biden said at a press conference. He added that any legal battle would save tenants time to tap into an emergency relief program stemming from recent stimulus laws to extinguish rental debt.
“By the time he goes to court, it will probably give more time as we distribute this $ 45 billion to people behind in rent,” he said.