(WASHINGTON) The Biden administration is set to extend the national moratorium on evictions to distribute billions of dollars in federal pandemic housing aid, two sources familiar with the situation told The New York Times.
The moratorium was scheduled to expire on June 30 and will most likely be extended by one month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiated the moratorium last September to forestall a wave of evictions from landlords exasperated by the economic decline due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Two White House officials, requesting anonymity, said the one-month extension was also prompted by the lagging vaccination rates that have extended the pandemic — particularly in the Southern states — in addition to concerns over a new wave of evictions.
The moratorium has significantly buffered the economic damage to renters and sharply reduced eviction filings, per the Times.
The step is part of a series of initiatives that the administration plans to pursue in the following weeks, the officials said.
Other initiatives include a summit on housing affordability and evictions later in June; further coordination with local officials and legal aid organizations to minimize evictions after July 31; and new guidance from the Treasury Department to streamline the distribution of the $21.5 billion in emergency aid included in the pandemic relief bill.
The move comes after President Joe Biden faced growing internal pressure at the White House.
On Tuesday, 44 House Democrats wrote to Biden and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, urging them to delay evictions.
“By extending the moratorium and incorporating these critical improvements to protect vulnerable renters, we can work to curtail the eviction crisis disproportionately impacting our communities of color,” the lawmakers wrote.