More than 7 million residents could be affected by the expiration of the moratorium, which was put in place more than a year ago to help struggling renters stay in their homes. Photo by David Mark/Pixabay
Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Millions of struggling Americans nationwide are now facing the prospect Monday of being evicted from their homes after a national ban -- which kept landlords from kicking out renters fiscally devastated by COVID-19 -- expired over the weekend.
The ban, imposed more than a year ago by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and repeatedly challenged in federal court, expired at the end of Saturday. President Joe Biden, who in the past supported extending the moratorium on a month-to-month basis, declined to call for another extension.
Evictions, therefore, are expected to begin en masse on Monday with the ban's expiration and the start of a new month.
More than 7 million residents could be affected by the change.
Many renters have lost jobs since the start of the pandemic and the moratorium provided them with a base layer of protection as the economy recovered. Some of the renters haven't paid rent in months and property owners have become increasingly frustrated with the CDC ban.
Federal officials argued that the moratorium was intended to prevent mass overcrowding in shelters and catastrophic living situations. The ban was extended on a monthly basis several times over the past year, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that it was up to Congress to allow the moratorium to continue beyond July 31.
Although some lawmakers sought to keep the moratorium, Congress ultimately failed to keep the ban in place. Several progressive Democrats in the House -- Reps. Cori Bush of Missouri, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota slept outside of the U.S. Capitol over the weekend as a show of support for struggling renters.
Bush told NPR on Monday that Congress should return to extend the moratorium long enough to give lawmakers time to debate and pass a longer-term solution to the housing crisis caused by the pandemic.
Washington, D.C., and states including California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Washington state have passed local-level eviction moratoriums.
January 31, 2020
National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo