A federal judge today vacated a nationwide COVID-19 eviction moratorium ordered through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The ruling, however, has no impact on California’s arguably more stringent eviction moratorium, which will remain in effect until June 30 unless extended. It also does not affect local eviction moratoria.
The CDC eviction moratorium also had been set to expire June 30.
In today’s ruling, a judge from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia concluded that the CDC lacked the authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium.
Federal judges in Ohio and Texas have also ruled against the CDC order but stopped short of vacating the order.
The U.S. Department of Justice has appealed today’s ruling, a development that the California Apartment Association will watch closely.
With the CDC order no longer in effect, California lawmakers may feel greater pressure to extend the state’s eviction moratorium. That eviction ban took effect under SB 91, which also created a framework for distributing federal rental assistance funds.
CAA is analyzing whether an extension of SB 91 is needed.
“As rental housing providers and tenants have applied for rent relief at the state or local level, some serious issues with the current extension have come to light,” said Debra Carlton, CAA’s executive vice president of local public affairs. “For example, the law does not address tenants who have either refused to apply for funding or have refused to work with their housing provider on the application.”
The law also does not address renters who do not qualify for funding and yet continue to live rent-free for months on end. In these cases, housing providers are deprived rental assistance and have no ability to retake possession of the unit.
“Housing providers who need help are slipping through the cracks because of issues with the current law,” Carlton said. “CAA is focused on continuing to help housing providers and tenants apply for rental relief and working to ensure that the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is successful. CAA will continue to evaluate whether an extension is necessary.”