Housing advocates and New York City renters march to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to cancel rent on October 10, 2020 amid the pandemic.
Andrew Lichtenstein | Corbis News | Getty Images
A federal judge on Friday denied an application by landlord groups to block the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new eviction moratorium.
The decision of Judge Dabney Friedrich of the US District Court for the District of Columbia is a win for the Biden administration.
More than 11 million Americans are left behind with their rentals, prompting the CDC to issue a new eviction ban earlier this month after the previous one expired on July 31. This protection is valid until October 3rd and for places where Covid rates remain high.
The decision was made for technical reasons. Friedrich said “the court’s hands are tied” by an earlier appeal decision to keep the moratorium in place. She said plaintiffs could use the DC Circuit to challenge the policy.
Alabama landlords who filed the application are likely to appeal.
“The government believes the CDC’s new moratorium is an appropriate use of its legitimate powers to protect public health,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Friday. “We are pleased that the district court has left the moratorium, but we know that further proceedings are likely in this case.”
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The CDC’s eviction ban has faced numerous legal challenges and landlords have criticized it, saying they couldn’t afford to house people for free or shoulder the land’s massive arrears in rent. On Thursday the US Supreme Court lifted at least part of the eviction moratorium in New York.
Housing advocates say evictions must be banned until states distribute the $ 45 billion in rental subsidies provided by Congress. According to a recent analysis by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, only around $ 4.2 billion of that money has reached households.
“It is imperative that cities and states provide rental subsidies to vulnerable communities as soon as possible to prevent evictions and the public health impact in all of our communities,” said Emily Benfer, visiting law professor at Wake Forest University.