WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden administration has extended the federal eviction moratorium for tenants who are unable to make rent payments during the pandemic.
The ban on renter evictions that was scheduled to expire on March 31 is now extended through June 30.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky, signed the extension Monday.
The City of Lakeland's housing program said the extension is crucial for renters, who would otherwise be evicted.
"They’re in panic mode and of course we as staff are in panic mode to assist them, because we can only go as fast as we can process applications. I think this gives them a relief to know they won't be homeless in the coming months,” said Annie Gibson, Housing Program Supervisor.
Lakeland has provided 354 households rental assistance through the CARE program. Gibson said many households are still struggling to make their rent payments one year into the pandemic.
“We’re continuously getting phone calls and folks are still in need of rental assistance," said Gibson.
The CDC says evictions could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the nation’s public health,” wrote the CDC in a statement announcing the extension. “Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
The moratorium was first put in place last year to protect tenants who may fall behind on rent as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic in the U.S. Some housing advocates are disappointed it was extended without addressing loopholes that allow some evictions to proceed during the pandemic.
As for homeowners, President Joe Biden extended a ban on housing foreclosures to June 30 in February.