WebHeader_Grove.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Become a sustaining member by 10am today for your chance to win TWO $1000 Visa gift cards!

Biden To Extend Order Limiting Pandemic Evictions

Tenants' rights advocates protesting evictions during the pandemic in Boston this month. They want the Biden administration to not only extend, but also strengthen, an eviction order from the CDC aimed at keeping people in their homes during the outbreak.
Michael Dwyer
/
AP
Tenants' rights advocates protesting evictions during the pandemic in Boston this month. They want the Biden administration to not only extend, but also strengthen, an eviction order from the CDC aimed at keeping people in their homes during the outbreak.

President Biden plans to extend a nationwide pause on evictions through the end of March.

The federal eviction moratorium, implemented through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is intended to help tenants who have been battered economically by the pandemic.

"Without this action by President Joe Biden, millions of renters could have lost their homes during this surge in COVID-19," says Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. But, she adds, the moratorium itself is insufficient and allows some landlords to evict tenants despite the protections.

For example, she notes that no federal agency is enforcing the order's penalties for unlawful evictions.

NPR has reported on families getting evicted despite the CDC order, which, in spirit, directs landlords not to put people out in the street for nonpayment of rent and into living situations where they can catch and spread the coronavirus.

Already, one study has attributed thousands of deaths in the U.S. to evictions during the pandemic because displaced families have been forced into more crowded living conditions.

Housing advocates say the CDC order is not an automatic eviction ban. Many renters don't know how to take advantage of it. Tenants must sign a CDC declaration and provide it to landlords and, in some cases, to local housing courts.

The recent COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress provides billions of dollars to pay landlords for back rent and future rent payments as millions of Americans remain unemployed and struggling to pay their bills. The hope is that too will prevent evictions since landlords only get compensated if tenants remain in place on the property.

Biden is also expected to extend deadlines for moratoriums aimed at protecting homeowners from foreclosure.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR correspondent Chris Arnold is based in Boston. His reports are heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. He joined NPR in 1996 and was based in San Francisco before moving to Boston in 2001.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.