|Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new order temporarily halting evictions for nonpayment of rent in communities with substantial or high levels of community transmission of COVID-19. The CDC defines substantiation and high transmission based on the number of positive cases and the percentage of positive tests in the county (see footnote 9 in the order for more specific information). The order cites the increase in COVID-19 cases and the public health impact evictions would have due to increased movement and shared and congregate housing situations into which evicted tenants may be forced to enter. The order is in effect until October 3, 2021.
Counties are covered based on whether they met the threshold for substantial transmission as of August 3. Counties that are not covered as of August 3 but later experience substantial or high levels of transmission will become subject to the order at that time. Counties that experience a decrease in cases and positive tests and no longer meet the threshold will cease to be subject to the order.
To be covered by the order, an individual must have earned no more than $99,000 (or $198,000 if filing jointly) in calendar year 2020 or expect to earn no more than that amount in calendar year 2021, not have been required to report taxable income in 2020, or received a stimulus check in 2020 or 2021. The individual must also have made their best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing. To qualify for protections, an individual must have completed and signed a declaration form and provided it to their landlord. An individual who submitted a declaration form under the previous CDC eviction moratorium and is still present in their unit does not need to submit a new declaration form.
Evictions for nonpayment of rent initiated but not completed before August 3 are subject to the order. However, the order does not protect households in which an eviction was completed before August 3.
The order is intended to give Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) grantees more time to distribute ERA funding to eligible households. The order notes, “In appropriating these emergency rental assistance funds, Congress intended that the funding would work in concert with the eviction moratorium, providing time for rental assistance to reach eligible tenants and landlords to substantially reduce the threat of an eviction wave after the eviction moratorium was no longer in effect. While the pace of assistance is continuing to increase, without additional time for states and localities to deliver this needed relief and engage in other efforts to prevent evictions, a surge of evictions would occur upon the conclusion of the national moratorium. A surge in evictions would lead to immediate movement, crowding, and increased stress on the homeless service system. In combination with surging COVID-19 rates across the country… this would create considerable risk for the rapid transmission of COVID-19 in high-risk settings.”