On March 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the federal eviction moratorium from March 31 to June 30, 2021. The moratorium, which bars residential evictions for nonpayment of rent, seeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by keeping people in their homes and out of congregate settings, such as homeless shelters. The extension of the moratorium is welcomed by counties, who are working diligently to provide for the health and safety of residents and keep them in stable housing situations during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the pre-existing housing affordability and insecurity crisis. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), more than 8.8 million households across the country are currently behind on rent and those at risk of homelessness are disproportionately people of color, primarily Black and Latino households. The federal eviction moratorium is critical to helping keep these families in their homes. The moratorium extension will help prevent a wave of evictions, stop the further spread of COVID-19 and mitigate further strains on county budgets arising from an increased need for social and supportive services.
Notably, following the CDC’s announcement of the extension, the CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission released a statement saying that they will monitor and investigate eviction practices, particularly by major multistate landlords, eviction management services and private equity firms, to ensure they are complying with the law. The announcement comes after reports of evictions despite federal and local moratoriums.
The extension of the federal eviction moratorium will also give counties time to distribute the funding they received through the federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program. The program, which was first established in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, authorized $25 billion in direct funding to states and eligible units of local government, including counties with 200,000 residents or more, to assist families struggling to make rental and utility payments. These funds have been fully distributed to grantees. The American Rescue Plan Act provided an additional $21.6 billion for the ERA program. The U.S. Treasury Department is expected to announce allocations for this second round of funding soon.
NACo will continue to monitor federal action around foreclosure and eviction moratoriums and rental and mortgage assistance. NACo has developed a NACo Emergency Rental Assistance Resource Hub where counties can find their specific funding allocations and the ERA program requirements and guidance. NACo has also created a COVID-19 Recovery Clearinghouse where counties can request and find specific information regarding funding, vaccine distribution and more.
- NACo Emergency Rental Assistance Resource Hub
- NACo Affordable Housing Toolkit
- NACo Blog: FHFA further extends foreclosure and REO eviction moratoriums