The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that a nationwide eviction moratorium will be extended through June 30.
Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed a declaration determining that evicting people from their homes would hamper attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Housing advocates have said the moratorium helps keep most cash-strapped tenants across the country in their homes during the pandemic.
“Evicted renters must move, which leads to multiple outcomes that increase the risk of COVID-19 spread,” the moratorium states, adding that many renters who are evicted move into shared housing or other settings where they’re exposed to other people.
“According to the Census Bureau American Housing Survey, 32% of renters reported that they would move in with friends or family members upon eviction, which would introduce new household members and potentially increase household crowding,” the moratorium reads.
“Studies show that COVID-19 transmission occurs readily within households. The secondary attack rate in households has been estimated to be 17%, and household contacts are estimated to be 6 times more likely to become infected by an index case of COVID-19 than other close contacts.”
To be eligible for protection, renters must earn $198,000 or less for couples filing jointly, or $99,000 for single filers; demonstrate that they’ve sought government help to pay the rent; declare that they can’t pay because of COVID-19 hardships; and affirm they are likely to become homeless if evicted.
John Pollock, coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, said current surveys show that 18.4% of all tenants owe back rent. That number also revealed significant racial disparity; the percentage of Black tenants behind on their rent was 32.9%.
Not everyone supports the moratorium. Landlords in several states have sued to scrap the order, arguing it was causing them financial hardship and infringing on their property rights.
There are at least six prominent lawsuits challenging the authority of the CDC ban; so far three judges have sided with the ban and three have ruled against, with all cases currently going through appeals. One judge in Memphis declared the CDC order unenforceable in the entire Western District of Tennessee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.