The CDC extended the federal eviction moratorium for another month, from June 30 to July 31, further frustrating landlords. However, CDC also said it’s likely that this new deadline will be the last one. FHFA also announced that its foreclosure moratorium was extended to July 31.

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that it was extending its eviction ban by one month, to July 31, 2021. However, the CDC also said it plans to make this the last extension.

In response to the announcement, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said it was “disappointed by the extension of the CDC moratorium, which no longer serves the purpose it was intended for and is no longer needed on a national level.”

U.S. courts have already ruled against CDC’s power to halt evictions, after decisions that favored challenges from the Georgia and Alabama Associations of Realtors. However, the rulings did not end the eviction ban because the court halted enforcement pending an appeal by the Department of Justice. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering the issue.

In addition to the tenant eviction ban, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced an extension of the ban that protects homeowners from foreclosures. However, FHFA’s ban only applies to homeowners with a Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-backed single-family mortgage – slightly over half of all U.S. homes with a mortgage. The foreclosure moratorium was also extended from June 30 to July 31.

The eviction ban extension frustrates landlords and apartment owners, many of whom have their own mortgages to pay on their rental properties. In a few cases, renters may not have paid for their units since the ban’s start in September 2020.

The eviction moratorium prevents housing providers from evicting tenants who can’t pay all or some of their rent, providing a number of conditions are in place. They must have suffered a loss of income and have attempted to obtain rental assistance. The tenant’s income cannot be more than $99,000 per year ($198,000 for joint filers) in 2020 or they don’t expect to make that much in 2021.

They must also undertake “best efforts” to make timely partial payments, and eviction would likely render them homeless or force them into shared living.

After the CDC and FHFA announcements, the White House announced a new effort to help tenants after the bans end – a set of buffer policies to ease the transition if a large number of people are evicted at the same time.

In general, the fact sheet, called “Initiatives to Promote Housing Stability by Supporting Vulnerable Tenants and Preventing Foreclosures,” outlines plans to coordinate actions by federal agencies, working with state, local and national governments. The overall goal is to help tenants and housing providers access rental assistance funds and programs, develop anti-eviction diversion practices and relieve some of the burden on the court systems.

Some initiatives announced by the White House

  • Encourage state and local courts to adopt “anti-eviction diversion practices” that help housing providers and tenants reach agreements and access rental assistance. If successful, it would keep people in their homes and help make housing providers whole
  • Highlight the federal assistance funds for state and local governments, plus their range of potential uses – including eviction diversion plans
  • Hold a White House summit for eviction prevention plans, which will include state and local governments as well as various legal groups. The plans should coordinate efforts to develop “locally-tailored” solutions to incentivize the use of emergency rental assistance program (ERAP) funds
  • Accelerate and broaden disbursement of ERAP funds
  • Ensure enforcement of the 30-day eviction notice requirement for federally backed properties (HUD/FHA/USDA, Freddie and Fannie)
  • Create guidance produced by HUD to prevent Fair Housing Act violations within the scope of eviction actions against tenants, and collaborate with the DOJ to publicize that guidance

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Author: marlam