White House says it can't extend eviction moratorium
During the White House press conference on Monday, US rescue plan coordinator Gene Sperling said President Biden is using "any federal agency" to stop evictions.
GENE SPERLING: The president fought for a moratorium on evictions for a long time. When he took office, he even suggested extending an eviction moratorium until September 30th. And I don't think that was possible because of the rules of reconciliation, but that was his initial political position that he put forward.
He has also assisted the CDC in extending its eviction moratorium, first from January 20th to May 31st, then from May 31st to June 30th. And even if there were legal issues and legal risks, he assisted them with the extension until July 31st. Unfortunately, on June 29, the Supreme Court declared that the CDC could not grant such an extension without clear and specific approval from Congress.
But given the increasing urgency of the proliferation of the Delta variant, the President has asked all of us, including the CDC, to do everything in our power to seek every possible legal authority we can have to prevent evictions. So far, the CDC director and her team have been unable to find legal authority even for a more targeted eviction moratorium that would only focus on counties with higher COVID spread rates.
But here, too, the president's focus is on doing everything in our power. Or I should say everything in power to prevent unnecessary, inevitable and painful evictions. One of the things he is calling today is that state and local governments extend or pass eviction moratoriums for the next two months.
Currently, 1 in 3 tenants who are in arrears on rent are actually protected beyond the state eviction moratorium through extended state and local eviction moratoriums. The President urges all governors and mayors to follow suit and extend the moratoria to up to four months - not up to but for two months.
Second, this President is calling for his mortgage loan departments to extend any eviction moratoria that they can extend. So that covers USDA and VA and HUD. Third, we have already announced that those with government-secured mortgages will not be allowed to vacate without 30 days' notice.
But today the president goes on in the statement on Friday and is then hit by the cabinet members. And in his instruction today, he calls on the USDA, VA and HUD, as well as the Treasury Department, to make it clear that those who benefit from government-sponsored mortgages or even residential tax breaks should not apply for evictions without first applying for emergency funding for the rent, which makes it possible to make the landlord completely healthy, which can pay up to 18 months in pre- and post-rent and ancillary costs. We want everyone with a government supported mortgage to seek that type of relief.
Finally, as the Congress leadership discussed and requested, we are going to conduct a review of all agencies to make sure we understand every possible reason state and local governments are failing to get funding, and to make sure we are using all agencies, whatever federal agency that we need to prevent evictions.
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