On Monday, the U.S. government extended for another three months the moratorium on evictions that was due to expire on March 31 while it continues efforts “to give landlords and tenants the help they need.”
The measure, announced by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walenski, is part of the government’s efforts to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and reactivate the economy.
The economic stimulus plan enacted a year ago by former President Donald Trump’s administration had already allocated $25 billion for rental assistance, and the administration of current President Joe Biden has moved “quickly to ease the burden,” according to a White House statement.
“The Recovery Plan enacted by Biden will distribute an additional $21.5 billion in emergency rental assistance to help millions of families stay current on their payments and remain in their homes,” it added.
For his part, in a 17-page message, Walenski noted that the pandemic “has presented a historic threat to public health.”
Keeping people in their homes, away from congregations or crowds -such as homeless shelters- by avoiding evictions is a key measure that helps contain the spread of COVID-19, she explained.
The eviction moratorium applies to housing that receives a subsidy from the federal government and to those tenants who have not earned in 2020 more than $99,000 or $198,000 if a couple filing jointly.
The benefit applies when “the individual is unable to pay the full rent or pay the full mortgage payment due to a substantial loss of income, reduction in paid work hours, layoff, or when extraordinary medical expenses occur.”