WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Time has run out for the federal government to extend the eviction moratorium, which ends Saturday.
Millions of Americans could lose their homes as the pandemic once again worsens due to the Delta variant. Officials with Housing and Urban Development said in March that 6.5 million were behind on their rent, and on July 5 more than 3.5 million said they were facing evictions in the next 2 months.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, warned the country can’t handel a wave of evictions now, especially with the Delta variant and a lack of Americans getting vaccinated.
“If these evictions start to happen in large numbers it’s going to increase the spread of COVID,” Brown said. “So it makes no sense on an individual human level. It makes no sense in a public health societal level.”
The White House said President Biden and the CDC can’t extend the current eviction moratorium.
“President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability,” White House Deputy Press Secreaty Karine Jean-Pierre said. “Unfortunately as some of you might know, the Suprem Court has made clear that this option is no longer available.”
The Supreme Court ruled only Congress can extend the eviction moratorium through new legislation.
“I’ve seen little interest from my colleagues in the Republican side in the Senate, little interest to move through Congress any kind of an eviction moratorium,” Brown said.
Kansas Republican Sen. Roger Marshall explained why.
“Certainly I want to show compassion for those people who need the help,” Marshall said. “But I think there’s a lot of people sitting on the sidelines that the jobs are out there. We have to roll this back at some point.”
While the federal eviction moratorium is expiring, renters in some states may still be protected by local and state moratoriums — but those will also start to expire in coming months.