Biden Extends Eviction Moratorium

In one of his first official acts, the new president ordered the extension of the CDC measure that was set to expire soon.

Image by Cytonn Photography via Unsplash

Hours after being sworn-in as the 46th President of the United States, President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling for the extension of the federal eviction moratorium. The CDC announced shortly after the order was signed that the agency would be extending the moratorium until March 31.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) nationwide ban on residential evictions was set to expire at the end of January. The order was among more than a dozen that President Biden signed on his first day in office.

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In September, former President Donald Trump ordered a halt to residential evictions nationwide by an order instituted through the CDC. Originally set to expire at the end of December, it was extended at the last minute to Jan. 31 in the latest stimulus relief bill that passed in late December.

In a joint statement from industry trade groups the National Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association released shortly after the extension of the moratorium, the groups expressed concern that the ban doesn’t do enough to address underlying financial issues facing renters but signaled their support for measures in Biden’s proposed relief bill, including an additional $25 billion in rental assistance.

“These measures will continue to support those households and apartment owners and operators who are unable, through no fault of their own, to meet their financial obligations,” the statement read.

However, the industry organizations disagreed with the proposed bill’s inclusion of a 9-month eviction moratorium in addition to the extend CDC order. “Such policies have been in place for nearly a year while targeted, direct rental assistance took nine months to pass Congress,” the groups wrote.

Meanwhile, advocacy groups like the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) praised the measures, saying that the extension of the moratorium will keep millions of at-risk renters in their homes. However, NLIHC also called the moratorium “flawed,” and urged the Biden administration to further strengthen the measure and close existing loopholes.

“No federal agency is enforcing the moratorium’s penalties for unlawful evictions, allowing landlords to violate the order without consequence,” NLIHC said in a statement.

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