Illustration of a house with a gavel next to it. This story explains what is an eviction moratorium.

Coronavirus and Inequality

Published — June 29, 2021

What you should know about the eviction moratorium

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Introduction

What is an eviction moratorium?

It’s intended to prevent landlords from evicting their tenants for a specified period. However, rent payments may continue to pile up for tenants. 

A moratorium enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been in place for months to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

When is the CDC’s eviction moratorium set to expire?

On July 31, 2021. 

What should I know about the eviction moratorium?

  • Tenants must meet certain qualifications and present the CDC’s declaration form to their landlord. 
  • They still owe rent payments. 
  • They can still be charged fees or penalties for submitting late rent payments.
  • The moratorium only protects tenants from being evicted for not paying rent. It doesn’t protect them from being evicted for other legal reasons.
  • Federal judges have both upheld and overturned the moratorium. As appeals were filed, it remained in effect.
  • In June, the CDC extended the pause on evictions for one month and said it will likely not do so again.

Do I qualify for renter’s assistance? 

It depends on where you live. Every state is different. Here’s a state-by-state guide from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where you can find updates and the resources available to you. You can also find a scorecard for each state from Eviction Lab, which researches housing insecurity. 

What will happen once the eviction moratorium is lifted?

It’s unclear, but we reported that the National Low Income Housing Coalition and its group of more than 850 organizations in the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition sent a letter to cabinet secretaries in the Biden administration on June 14. It urged them to extend and strengthen the moratorium and recommended increasing awareness of rental assistance programs. Doing so, they wrote, might avert “a historic wave of evictions.”

If you have other questions you want answered or think there’s something we missed, email us at tips@publicintegrity.org.

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