CDC Issues Nationwide Pause on Evictions Amid Pandemic

David Deem

A new eviction ban running through Dec. 31 has been enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the order, which is under the Public Health Service Act, the temporary halt on residential evictions will help "prevent the further spread of COVID-19."

The order continues, stating "eviction moratoria facilitate self-isolation by people who become ill or who are at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 due to an underlying medical condition."
According to the CDC, the order does not apply in any state, local territorial or tribal area "with a moratorium on residential evictions that provide the same or greater level of public-health protection than the requirements" listed in the order.
While the order may help fend off an eviction wave prompted by mass layoffs due to the coronavirus, the ban could negatively impact landlords who cannot recoup the unpaid rent.
Here's what the industry is saying:
"While NAR appreciates and is supportive of administration efforts to ensure struggling Americans can remain in their homes, this order, as written, will bring chaos to our nation's critical rental housing sector and put countless property owners out of business.
"Any eviction moratorium must also come with rental assistance for property owners, the vast majority of which are mom-and-pop investors and are still required to meet their financial obligations even as they cease to receive income on their properties.
"An untailored eviction moratorium will bring more havoc to our economy, not less, and will put America's 43 million renter households at significant risk. NAR strongly encourages Congress to pass immediate legislation that would instead provide emergency rental assistance programs directly to housing providers, protecting Americans' access to affordable housing and our nation's critical rental housing sector." — Vince Malta, President, National Association of REALTORS® (submitted along with CCIM and the Institute of Real Estate Management.)"
"We are disappointed that the Administration has chosen to enact a federal eviction moratorium without the existence of dedicated, long-term funding for rental and unemployment assistance. An eviction moratorium will ultimately harm the very people it aims to help by making it impossible for housing providers, particularly small owners, to meet their financial obligations and continue to provide shelter to their residents.

"Not only does an eviction moratorium not address renters' real financial needs, a protracted eviction moratorium does nothing to address the financial pressures and obligations of rental property owners. Without mortgage forbearance protections and protections from other property-level financial obligations such as property taxes, insurance payments and utility service, the stability of the entire rental housing sector is thrown into question.

"We agree with Secretary Mnuchin, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer that policymakers need to come back and negotiate a strong rental assistance program. Furthermore, we believe renter protections are best left to state and local officials who better know their housing markets and can tailor protections to the varied and unique eviction laws and judicial processes across jurisdictions," — Doug Bibby, President, National Multifamily Housing Council
“MBA appreciates the intent of today’s executive order to ensure that renter households facing financial hardship from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can stay in their homes. Protecting families experiencing or soon to be threatened with severe housing instability is a must during these challenging times.

“Although an eviction moratorium through the end of the year is important for renters, it is not a complete or long-term solution. If tenants are unable to pay their rent, then millions of our nation’s housing providers—many of whom are individual landlords and small business owners—will be unable to meet their mortgage obligations, make payroll to their own employees, maintain a safe and healthy living environment for their tenants, and pay their state and local government property taxes. The result would be a cascading reaction that would only exacerbate the current economic crisis, leading to more job loss, financial pain and long lasting economic effects.  

“That is why we continue to call upon Congress to work with the administration and pass legislation—as called for by a growing bipartisan group of policymakers—as quickly as possible to provide direct financial support and emergency rental assistance with workable mechanisms to ensure it reaches tenants in need. Rental assistance is a major tool that should be used to keep families in their homes, while also protecting the safety and soundness of the entire multifamily finance market. The time to act is now.” — Bob Broeksmit, President & CEO, Mortgage Bankers Association




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