FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2020
Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org
CDC Eviction Moratorium Not Enough and Will Cause Chaos In Courts
White House and McConnell must take urgent action on rental assistance now!
Washington, D.C. — National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) President & CEO, Lisa Rice, issued the following statement regarding the CDC’s Agency Order to temporarily halt some evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
“Yesterday the CDC issued an Agency Order to halt certain evictions in the United States through December 31, 2020. This comes after months of pressure from people throughout the nation, and multiple warnings from housing advocacy and civil rights organizations about an impending eviction crisis. But this order fails to address the multiple challenges distressed renters are facing and the financial cliff they will experience at the end of the moratorium. It also fails to address the financial hardship that thousands of landlords, particularly small landlords, are experiencing because they are not receiving payments to meet their expenses. Finally, the order promotes the culture of criminalizing poverty by requiring tenants to sign a legal declaration — under penalty of perjury and with the threat of prosecution, steep fines and/or jail time — that the tenant meets certain qualifications that the tenant may not be able to prove.
“The order is not a blanket moratorium on evictions and falls far short of what is necessary to deal with real harms families and small landlords are facing. Nearly half (49.5%) of all rental units are single family or 2-4 unit buildings, many of which are owned by small businesses that do not have deep pockets or easy access to bank lines of credit. These small landlords must continue to pay their mortgages and other expenses. This order essentially amounts to an unfunded mandate for these small business owners.
“The order also fails to address the myriad challenges renters are facing that threaten their housing stability, such as recent trends of landlords not renewing leases or moving renters to month-to-month leasing arrangements.
“In order to truly protect people from homelessness, overcrowding, and unnecessary increased exposure to COVID-19 during the pandemic, the White House and Mitch McConnell must act now to pass legislation that provides at least $100 billion of emergency rental assistance, a true national moratorium on evictions, and additional renter protections to eliminate loopholes contained in the CDC’s Order.”
About The National Fair Housing Alliance
Founded in 1988, NFHA is a consortium of more than 200 private, nonprofit fair housing organizations, state and local civil rights agencies, and individuals from throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NFHA works to eliminate housing discrimination and ensure equal housing opportunity for all people through leadership, education, outreach, membership services, public policy initiatives, community development, advocacy, and enforcement.