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Biden will extend nationwide eviction moratorium in executive order


President-elect Joe Biden will sign an executive order extending the nationwide eviction moratorium — one of the many orders he will issue immediately after his inauguration.

Through the order, Biden will ask the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to consider extending the federal moratorium until at least March 31, 2021. He will also request that the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development consider extending their moratoria on foreclosures for federally guaranteed mortgages and deadlines for forbearance requests until that same date.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency had already extended the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for loans backed by Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac
until Feb. 28.

Separately, Biden is calling on Congress to pass legislation to provide more money for rental assistance and to extend the eviction moratorium until the end of September. The CDC first issued the nationwide ban on evictions last September in an effort to stave off a tidal wave of homelessness. As the Biden transition team noted, one in five renters and one in 10 homeowners are behind on their monthly housing payments.

Extending the eviction moratorium will also give renters more
time to apply for and receive billions of dollars in emergency rental
assistance that lawmakers passed in December.

However, consumer advocates and industry officials have warned that more support is needed for the nation’s renters. The rental assistance that was passed in December fell far short of the $100 billion that housing experts estimated was needed.

Moreover, advocates have cautioned that the existing eviction moratorium is imperfect. Gaps in the way the ban was written mean that landlords can still pursue evictions against some tenants, and a lack of enforcement has meant that many people who should be protected have not been. As a result, thousands of households across the country have lost their homes, putting them at greater risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus.


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