The White House is preparing to announce a new moratorium on rentals in areas that are experiencing ongoing problems with COVID-19.
News of the coming moratorium came Tuesday afternoon via reports from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press and other media outlets, all of which cited unnamed sources in their reporting. Though the specifics of the plan have not yet been revealed, the initial reports indicated the moratorium would focus on places with high coronavirus infection rates, and would cover as many as 90 percent of U.S. renters.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control first banned rental evictions last year as the pandemic sent many sectors of the economy into free fall. At the time, the National Association of Realtors expressed sympathy toward struggling Americans but ultimately concluded that the “order as-written will bring chaos to our nation’s critical rental housing sector and put countless property owners out of business.”
Even as the end of the moratorium loomed, tenant advocacy groups and some Democratic lawmakers pushed for extensions or other protections for renters. Some leaders such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez went as far as sleeping on the steps of the U.S. Capitol overnight in protest, the Journal reported.
According to the Times, the Biden administration didn’t believe it legally had the ability to issue an extension and so will opt for a new moratorium.