The Trump administration is ordering a halt on evictions nationwide through December for people who have lost work during the pandemic and don’t have other good housing options.
The new eviction ban is being enacted through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal is to stem the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, which the agency says in its order “presents a historic threat to public health.”
It’s by far the most sweeping move yet by the administration to try to head off a looming wave of evictions of people who have lost their jobs or taken a major blow to their income because of the pandemic. Housing advocates and landlord groups both have been warning that millions of people could soon be put out of their homes through eviction if Congress does not do more to help renters and landlords and reinstate expanded unemployment benefits.
But this new ban, which doesn’t offer any way for landlords to recoup unpaid rent, is being met with a mixed response. First, many housing advocates are very happy to see it.
“My reaction is a feeling of tremendous relief,” says Diane Yentel, CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “It’s a pretty extraordinary and bold and unprecedented measure that the White House is taking that will save lives and prevent tens of millions of people from losing their homes in the middle of a pandemic.”
That said, she adds that a move like this from Congress or the White House is “long overdue.” And she says with no money behind it, it kicks the can down the road….