As the July 31 deadline approaches, Biden calls on Congress to extend the eviction ban.
President Joe Biden has asked Congress to extend the nationwide eviction moratorium, which is slated to end on July 31.
The eviction moratorium was enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect the 7 million tenants who had fallen behind on their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the deadline looming, the administration is pleading with Congress to grant an emergency extension.
“This moratorium saved hundreds of thousands of Americans from the heartbreak, destitution, and health dangers that evictions so often bring — especially during a pandemic,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Thursday.
Since September, the CDC has begun awarding moratorium extensions. Since the Supreme Court determined that the moratorium could only be prolonged through legislation, the July deadline was expected to be “the final extension of the moratorium.”
However, the administration’s concerns have grown as the number of Delta variant cases has climbed, prompting an appeal to Congress.
President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to extend the eviction moratorium to protect renters at this time of heightened vulnerability, given the recent spread of the delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations,” Psaki said.
Evictions have resulted in an increase in COVID cases and deaths, according to a recent study by the Social Science Research Network. In comparison to states that kept their moratoriums in place, states that dropped their moratoriums saw nearly double the number of cases.
“When people are evicted, they frequently move in with friends and relatives, which expands your network,” Kathryn Leifheit, one of the study’s authors, told CNBC. “If people have to go to a homeless shelter, they will find themselves in a congested environment.”
It’s unclear whether Congress will be able to respond to Biden’s emergency request in time to pass a ban extension before it expires on July 31.