On June 24, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the federal eviction moratorium from June 30 to July 31, 2021. The CDC also announced that this would be the final extension of the moratorium, originally put in place on September 4, 2020. The moratorium is intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by preventing evictions and keeping individuals in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings, including homeless shelters and other areas. Counties welcome the extension of the federal eviction moratorium as they work at the local level to provide for their residents’ health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the pre-existing housing affordability and insecurity crisis. As of May 24, over 7 million people were behind on rent and 4.6 million people had no confidence they could make their next rental payment, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The federal eviction moratorium will help to prevent a wave of evictions stemming from nonpayment of rent and ensure that individuals will be able to remain stably housed through the pandemic. The moratorium further helps to alleviate the burden on already strained county budgets arising from an increased need for social, supportive and housing services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The extension of the CDC’s eviction moratorium will also provide counties time to distribute the funding they received through the federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program and perform outreach to ensure that individuals in need of help are aware of the assistance available. The U.S. Treasury Department, which is responsible for administering the program, has now distributed the $25 billion provided by Congress for the first round of the program and $6.1 billion of the $21.6 billion provided for the second round of the program.
Also, on June 24, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) separately announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) would extend the foreclosure and real estate owned (REO) eviction moratoriums from June 30 to July 31, 2021. The foreclosure moratorium applies to only Enterprise-backed mortgages, while the REO eviction moratorium applies to properties that have been acquired by an Enterprise through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions. Like the CDC eviction moratorium, the FHFA announcement is applauded by counties as they work to keep residents stably housed as the nation pivots towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
NACo will continue to monitor federal action around eviction and foreclosure moratoriums and advocate for additional assistance for both renters and homeowners. NACo has also established a federal Emergency Rental Assistance program resource hub, a COVID-19 Recovery Clearinghouse and a breakdown of funding provided in the American Rescue Plan Act, which counties can utilize to navigate the funding and assistance available to them as they work to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic at the local level.
- NACo Emergency Rental Assistance Resource Hub
- NACo Affordable Housing Toolkit
- NACo Analysis of ERA1 and ERA2 Guidance
- County-specific Emergency Rental Assistance programs and application information