The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention implemented a temporary eviction moratorium through the end of the year, protecting U.S. renters from losing the roof over their heads.
The Trump administration announced Tuesday the moratorium will apply to all rental units across the country until Dec. 31 and goes into effect immediately. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a U.S. House of Representatives panel Tuesday the moratorium would cover around 40 million renters.
“In the context of a pandemic, eviction moratorium—like quarantine, isolation, and social distancing—can be an effective public health measure utilized to prevent the spread of communicable disease,” the CDC’s unpublished order said, according to MarketWatch.
A study released in June showed renters are more affected than homeowners by the coronavirus due to making less money than homeowners, the inability to take advantage of home-equity loans, or using cash equity from refinancing and potentially being priced out by landlords who opt to raise rents.
The moratorium will apply to any state that does not already have a more protective ban in effect, according to the order. New York, California, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. all have an eviction ban in place.
Renters who received an economic impact payment or stimulus check will also be eligible for the moratorium’s protection. The order, which will be published in the Federal Register on Friday, includes a declaration for renters to sign and give their landlord. Senior Trump administration officials added the form will be made available on the CDC’s website.
Renters must indicate on the declaration they cannot afford to pay their rent in full and that if they become evicted, they will become homeless or forced to move into a shared housing facility. Renters must also be able to prove they made an effort to receive government assistance and could not afford their rent.
The moratorium does not excuse renters from paying rent. Back rent is still owed to landlords and senior administration officials said renters should attempt to make partial payments if they cannot make them in full.
Landlords will still be able to evict tenants in certain instances in which the tenant has destroyed property or poses a threat to the health or safety of others.