President Joe Biden announced on June 24 that the national eviction moratorium is to be extended by one more month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put the measure into place because of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep people housed during the pandemic. The eviction moratorium had been set to end on June 30, but the CDC extended the directive to July 31, claiming it will be the final extension.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there are currently approximately six million households in the United States who are behind on their rent and may face eviction. To help prevent the flood of evictions that is set to happen when the moratorium officially ends, there is over $46 billion available in Emergency Rental Assistance to help people catch up on back rent.
The Treasury Department is also encouraging outreach on the Emergency Rental Assistance to be conducted in multiple languages, so a language barrier will not impede a household from getting the help they need to keep their homes.
According to an administration official, “The CDC’s decision recognizes that a final 30 days was needed to ensure that we could take every possible step to ensure the moratorium did not lead to a flood of evictions.”
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta sent a letter to state courts to encourage them to “adopt anti-eviction diversion practices” in hopes of preventing a flood of evictions from hitting state and local courts and encourage landlords and tenants to have mediation instead. By avoiding legal action in this way, both landlords and tenants will also save money.
The Treasury Department is also allowing states to tap into the $350 billion Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds and funds through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to go to eviction diversion efforts.
The Emergency Rental Assistance is not just to help current renters catch up on rent, but it is also intended to help homeless individuals pay for rent and deposits on new homes, offer relocation assistance, and even help with temporary hotel accommodations.
To help protect homeowners, to attempt to prevent a flood of foreclosures too, three federal agencies that finance mortgages — the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Department of Agriculture (USDA) — as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have extended their moratorium to July 31 as well. The federal agencies will also offer COVID-related forbearance on mortgage loans through September 30, and the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages will also be eligible for the forbearance. There are also plans to offer some payment reduction options to help homeowners that will be announced in more detail next month.
ACUTRAQ will continue to keep you informed of new developments on the situation as it continues to unfold and as the July 31 deadline approaches.