New eviction ban divides renters, landlords

U.S.

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — There was a celebration on the Capitol steps after the Biden administration announced an eviction moratorium extension. But salvation for renters means prolonged frustration for some landlords who haven’t received rent payments for over a year. 

Landlord groups said focus needs to be on getting the $46 billion already approved by Congress out the door instead of stopping evictions.

Many of these landlords are small mom-and-pop operations, but on the other side of this are the 11 million people that face the threat of evictions.

The White House says the new ban on evictions is limited to parts of the country that are experiencing what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls substantial spread of COVID-19.

The number of tenants protected is likely to change, however, since it would stop being applicable in counties that go 14 days without seeing substantial or high levels of coronavirus transmission. Counties that are not covered now, but later experience spikes, would also fall under the moratorium when that happens.

High rates of spread in Arizona counties mean the moratorium essentially covers the entire state. However, the current surge’s milder impact on New Hampshire leaves residents in seven of the state’s 10 counties unprotected.

After sleeping outside the Capitol steps for days to raise awareness, Missouri Rep. Cori Bush is now celebrating the new moratorium.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said the new order only buys time for Congress to offer a better solution.

The new ban runs until October, but Stacey Johnson-Cosby, president of the KC Regional Housing Alliance, says housing providers are already working through the courts to lift the ban as soon as possible.

After pushing the CDC to reconsider its options, President Joe Biden acknowledged Tuesday that he wasn’t sure the new moratorium could withstand lawsuits about its constitutionality. Landlords had successfully challenged the original order in court.

When the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the eviction ban to remain in place through the end of July by a 5-4 vote, one justice in the majority, Brett Kavanaugh, wrote that Congress would have to act to extend it further.

Landlord groups reacted to the new order as they did the old one, criticizing it as an unfunded government mandate. They have yet to detail their legal strategy, though most housing advocates are counting on more lawsuits. Even if the order is overturned in court, advocates are hopeful it gives states enough time to get rental assistance out.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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