Federal eviction moratorium extended, but is it enough?

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday extended the federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for another month, but says it will be the last time.

The White House said it is directing states to quickly get rental assistance to vulnerable tenants and landlords and to find ways to avoid evictions when the protections — which press secretary Jen Psaki noted were “always intended to be temporary” — come to an end Aug. 1.

“The president remains focused on ensuring that Americans that are struggling through no fault of their own have off-ramp once it ends,” Psaki said.

Housing advocates still have concerns about a potential wave of evictions and say Congress must act now to resolve long-term housing problems.

“In the short term, it was the right move,” Ann Oliva of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities said of the CDC extension, but added, “What we really need is a long-term solution.”

“We were actually in a housing crisis before the pandemic,” she continued. “Months before the pandemic … 30 states reported a rise in homelessness. There are now more individuals living on the streets of our country than in shelters.”

She said Congress should act to increase the amount of affordable housing nationwide and extend rental assistance vouchers permanently. The Biden administration backs both proposals.

But Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., argued Congress has already done its part.

“Well certainly, I want to show compassion for those people who need the help, but I think there’s a lot of people sitting on the sideline and the jobs are out there,” he said. “We have to roll this (moratorium) back at a some point.”

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