Biden to extend eviction ban in places with high COVID rates: report

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Biden to extend eviction ban in places with high COVID rates: report

President Biden is expected to announce a new federal eviction moratorium in places with high rates of coronavirus cases.

A previous eviction freeze expired on Saturday after congressional Democrats failed to garner enough support for an extension before House members left DC to begin their August recess.

The New York Times reported that officials from the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were meeting to hash out the details of a new moratorium which would remain in place for up to 60 days. However, officials say any new policy has not been finalized.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier Tuesday that Democrats “stand ready” to work with the White House to find a way to extend the ban on evictions that expired over the weekend.

“House Democrats stand ready to work with the Administration as they search for ways to extend the moratorium and as they urge states and localities to spend the $46.5 billion that Congress allocated​,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Our sole focus must be keeping people housed and we must do so with the urgency this moment deserves.​”​

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is urging states to utilize COVID relief grants to help landlords and renters.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is urging states to utilize COVID relief grants to help landlords and renters.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

She said families being tossed from their homes during the coronavirus pandemic “is a challenge to the conscience of the country, and Democrats’ commitment to immediately helping renters and landlords is a priority that unites our caucus.​”​

The moratorium expired at midnight Saturday after the House failed to extend the ban before leaving for August recess.

The White House last week urged Congress to pass legislation extending it after the Supreme Court decided in June that the CDC overstepped its authority by enacting the ban. The court left the moratorium in place through July 31 in a 5-4 ruling but one of the five, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, warned that extending the ruling beyond that date would require legislation from Congress.

“​In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the ​p​resident calls on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said​ in a statement last Thursday.

​In its ruling, t​he Supreme Court said Congress would have to pass legislation to extend the ban past July 31. 

On Monday, President Biden called on states to distribute the $47 billion in unspent rental assistance money included in coronavirus relief bills to​ assist renters and homeowners.

​Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, speaking to people camping out on the Capitol steps to press the administration to act, ​recommended the president issue an executive order to extend the ban.​

“So the message of the day is the White House needs to get its act together and extend the eviction moratorium. We do not want to hear the excuses about what will the court do, etc.,” ​the New York Democrat said.

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