Despite all the legal hubbub surrounding the measure, it's looking like the CDC will extend its national eviction ban once again -- at least according to reports. Sources told Reuters this morning that the Centers for Disease Control is considering a one-month extension to its hotly debated eviction ban. This would mark the third extension of the ban since its implementation in September. It's currently set to expire on June 30.
The news comes just days after 44 lawmakers and 22 state Attorneys General announced their support for an extension.
"Without further action, in just eight days, the CDC moratorium will expire, and millions of renters will once again face the threat of eviction," the lawmakers' letter to President Joe Biden and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky read. "As workers and families across the country are just beginning to recoup from the trauma and economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take all necessary action to protect them from becoming unhoused during this vulnerable time."
Now, sources are saying the CDC will likely stave off those evictions for at least one more month -- an announcement the agency could make as early as today.
The state of the eviction ban
The CDC's eviction ban has been highly contested in recent months, drawing the ire of landlords, property managers, and real estate agents nationwide.
Its critics have levied numerous lawsuits against the agency, as well as its higher-ups, and in many cases won. A Texas judge deemed the measure unconstitutional back in February, and federal judge Dabney Friedrich struck it down entirely in May.
The decisions are under appeal, though, and the ban still stands -- despite the thousands of landlords and property owners struggling due to unpaid rent.
A group of landlords -- in tandem with the Alabama and Georgia associations of Realtors, have even urged the Supreme Court to step in, citing losses of over $13 billion per month since the moratorium began.
"The agency... [issued] an order on September 4, 2020, that prohibits landlords nationwide from evicting certain tenants who fail to pay rent, backed by criminal penalties, including the specter of six-figure fines," the filing reads. "In doing so, the CDC shifted the pandemic's financial burdens from the nation's 30 to 40 million renters to its 10 to 11 million landlords -- most of whom, like applicants, are individuals and small businesses -- resulting in over $13 billion in unpaid rent per month."
What will happen next?
A lot is up in the air right now. If reports are accurate, the CDC will be expanding its current eviction ban through at least July 31.
If not, some states and municipalities already have contingency plans. Hawaii, for example, recently extended its statewide eviction ban until August 6. And according to the Associated Press, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is considering something similar. Cities like Austin, Texas, and Kenmore, Washington, have their own bans as well.
Finally, there are all the lawsuits to think about. If the Supreme Court agrees to lift the stay on Judge Friedrich's ruling from May, the ban could be lifted altogether.
The bottom line
As with many things during this pandemic, the eviction ban -- not to mention its end date -- is very tenuous. Though the CDC is expected to extend the measure yet another month, there's no telling whether that ban will stand -- particularly with all the litigation surrounding it.
Another (and more troublesome) thought for landlords: If the ban is extended and holds up, there's no guarantee it's the last one on the docket. The agency has already extended the measure multiple times, so it's important to gear up for more potential extensions down the road.
If you haven't already, encourage your tenants to apply for rent assistance in your city or state -- or do it on their behalf. You should also take steps to cut costs, or consider one of these three options.