CDC to impose nationwide moratorium on evictions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday announced a nationwide moratorium on residential evictions through the end of the year to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

The document is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Friday, the CDC said.

To be eligible a person must have “used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing,” the CDC said. An individual also must expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income or $198,000 if filing a joint return.

In addition, the renter or renters must be unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to “substantial loss” of household income, the CDC said. Other conditions include a layoff or “extraordinary” out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The moratorium aims to help as many as 40 million Americans who are struggling to meet their monthly rent expenses, The Washington Post reported. Earlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said action was imminent, the newspaper reported.

Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, called the moratorium “long overdue and badly needed,” but advised caution, the Post reported.

“This action delays but does not prevent evictions,” Yentel said. “Congress and the White House must get back to work on negotiations to enact a COVID-19 relief bill with at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance.”

The moratorium does not waive any debts families may accumulate over the next four months, and leaves open the option for landlords to charge “fees, penalties or interest” as a result of renters’ failure to pay “on a timely basis,” the document said.

The moratorium also does not prevent evictions based on a tenant who engages in criminal activity, threatens the health or safety of other residents, damaging property, violating building codes, or violating contractual obligations not tied to rental payments. the document said.

The CARES Act temporarily protected millions of renters from being evicted for nonpayment, The New York Times reported.

“President Trump is committed to helping hardworking Americans stay in their homes and combating the spread of the coronavirus,” White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern said in a statement. “Today’s announcement from his Administration means that people struggling to pay rent due to coronavirus will not have to worry about being evicted, and risk further spreading of or exposure to the disease due to economic hardship.”