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US Supreme Court shuts down CDC's extension on the eviction moratorium

The CDC had extended the moratorium through October 3 only in areas that were seeing high levels of transmission of COVID-19.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — The US Supreme Court has struck down an extension by the CDC that would have allowed the eviction moratorium to continue through October 3rd in areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates.

The Court found the CDC exceeded its authority by relying on a decades-old statute. Rather, the court indicated the power to authorize the CDC's actions lies within the hands of Congress.

"We were certainly disappointed by the ruling. It was not totally surprising. We know this was very controversial," said Darrel Reinford of Christian Churches United in Harrisburg. The organization has helped nearly 1,000 families find assistance to stay in their homes so far in 2021. He said currently, the group is helping up to 750 more. 

Reinford and Pennsylvania leaders urged people who need help to sign up for the emergency rental assistance program immediately. Reinford said in Dauphin County they've already received nearly 3,000 applications. He admits the number of families of applying has caused a backlog and some people have been frustrated when they try to get through for help. But he said his best advice is to stay persistent. 

"For folks that area actually facing an order of possession for their property we're really trying to push those applications through. So always keep reaching out if you need help," he said. 

The Supreme Court's opinion was rendered after a a group called the Alabama Association of Realtors challenged the order.

The eviction moratorium initially began in March 2020 when Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. That act allowed the moratorium to stay in place for 120 days. The CARES Act eviction moratorium expired on July 24, 2020.

In September 2020, the CDC director issued an order temporarily halting evictions in the U.S., and the order was extended multiple times until it expired on July 31, which was originally intended to be the end of the extensions.

The moratorium was expired July 31, 2021. Three days later, the CDC issued an order that halted evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission of COVID-19 as a result of the Delta variant.

The CDC said the order was issued in response to 'unexpected developments in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise of the Delta variant." 

Read the full order here.

The Supreme Court has blocked the eviction moratorium issued by the CDC. Christian Churches United, who is trying to...

Posted by Jamie Bittner on Friday, August 27, 2021

In one dissenting opinion, a justice noted that the realtors claim a loss of income but noted that is lessened by the moratorium's order that tenats still have an obligation to make 'as close to the full rental payment' as possible. It also noted that Congress has appropriated more than $46.5 billion to help pay rent and rental arrears. 

As of August 1, 2021 more than 80% of the US counties were classified as experiencing substantial or high levels of community transmission. 

The CDC claims the eviction moratorium in 2020 led to 1.5 million fewer eviction filings than the previous year. 

Despite the moratorium, there have still been 450,000 eviction filings during the pandemic within 31 cities and six states, the department said.

Officials encourage those who need assistance -- whether it be risking eviction or utility shutoffs, to apply now for the ERAP and not to wait. 

You can do so through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Once you visit the site you can submit you application through COMPASS

While on ERAP you can find information on what documents are needed to apply, FAQ's, who the program helps, what makes you eligible, and more.

There are more than 400 emergency rental assistance programs across the country. You can find a database of those resources on the NLIHC website

Contact Christian Churches United.

Contact the Harrisburg Housing Authority for assistance.

Find more assistance through Bell Socialization Services.

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