On Tuesday, the Supreme Court maintained the Center for Disease Control’s halt on eviction for tenants who could not pay rent due to hardships imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court denied a challenge on the eviction ban brought by a group of landlords. The moratorium will now be left in place until July 31st.
Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Brett Kavanaugh voted in favor of maintaining the moratorium.
The moratorium would have expired on Wednesday, but the CDC announced last week that it would be extended until July 31st. It has been extended a total of three times, twice by the CDC and once by Congress. Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the CDC, said this would be the last extension of the moratorium.
The group of landlords who filed suit against the eviction ban were spearheaded by the Alabama Association of Realtors. They claimed that the CDC did not have the power to impose such a moratorium, which has left “over $13 billion in unpaid rent per month.”
According to the CDC, between 30 million to 40 million people could be evicted if the moratorium were not in place.
$46.5 billion has been approved by Congress in rental assistance, but delays have prevented the money from being distributed.
The CDC put the eviction moratorium in place last year to prevent the spread of COVID-19 resulting from increased homelessness and shared living. Walenksy said in a statement that “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.”
Sources: Supreme Court 6/29/21; CNN 6/29/21; Reuters 6/29/21