Residential evictions for most renters will be banned through the end of the year under a new directive issued by the Trump administration late Tuesday.
The moratorium, issued under the authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), applies to individuals who expect to earn $99,000 or less in 2020 and couples filing jointly with an income of $198,000 or less. This is the same group that were eligible for a stimulus check this year. The move is in response to the COVID-19 epidemic that has closed businesses and thrown millions of people out of work.
“To respond to this public health threat, the Federal, State, and local governments have taken unprecedented or exceedingly rare actions, including border closures, restrictions on travel, stay-at home orders, mask requirements, and eviction moratoria. Despite these best efforts, COVID-19 continues to spread and further action is needed,” the CDC said in a statement.
To avoid eviction, renters must certify that they are unable to pay their rent due to the coronavirus and that they would become homeless if they are forced to leave their homes. They must also state that they made their best effort to obtain other government assistance to pay their rent and that they are currently paying as much rent as they can afford.
As of August 24, 2020, there were over 23,000,000 cases of COVID-19 globally resulting in over 800,000 deaths; over 5,500,000 cases have been identified in the United States, with new cases being reported daily and over 174,000 deaths due to the disease, the CDC stated.
At the end of the moratorium renters under the program will need to make up missed payments to their landlords, according to the agency.
“Nothing in this Order precludes the charging or collecting of fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payment on a timely basis, under the terms of any applicable contract,” the order stated.