On November 9, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO-01) and Rep. Alma S. Adams (D-NC-12) led a group of lawmakers in sending CDC Director Robert R. Redfield and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar a letter, urging them to extend the CDC’s temporary eviction moratorium for qualifying renters—which is set to expire at the end of the year—through March 31, 2021. The letter calls on Director Redfield and Secretary Azar to either rescind the CDC’s October 9 guidance, which allows housing providers to challenge tenants’ qualification for the order’s eviction protections and to initiate eviction proceedings before the expiration of the moratorium, or to “institute a reasonable burden of proof that landlords must meet prior to filing an eviction for the duration of this order.” The letter also calls for issuing new guidance that would require landlords to inform their tenants of the CDC’s order, as well as providing stronger mechanisms to enforce penalties against landlords who violate this guidance.
If Congress is unable to pass another federal stimulus package before the end of the year and the CDC eviction moratorium expires on December 31, 2020, tens of millions of Americans will be at risk of eviction and homelessness. A recent analysis from the Urban Institute highlighted that the moratorium’s expiration would most impact households of color. Using the Household Pulse Survey’s second round of biweekly data collection, which began on August 19, 2020, the analysis found that 19 percent of Asian adults, 20 percent of Latinx adults, and 24 percent of Black adults lived in a household that had “either not paid rent or deferred rent the previous month,” compared to 11 percent for white adults. Enterprise has joined partners in urging Congress and the Administration to provide emergency rental assistance in conjunction with eviction protections to avoid widespread homelessness and the loss of affordable homes.