The divisions between President Joe Biden and congressional lawmakers almost brought 3.6 million Americans out of their houses, but the last-minute heroics by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put a new eviction ban in place to divert the housing crisis.
As the lawmakers went into shock with the presidential inaction, the Democratic House of Representative Maxine Waters said,
“We thought that the White House was in charge.”
(Rep. Maxine Wates)
The White House had little authority to offer any such extension on the eviction ban, as the Supreme Court ruling against the eviction ban put everyone in the dead-end tunnel.
As millions of Americans saw homelessness coming, the expiration of the eviction ban was a threat not only on humanitarian grounds but also to stop COVID spread as the delta variant continues prompting chaos into the country.
Last Minute CDC Heroics Saved People from Eviction
After the presidential and legislative tussle, the CDC has provided a 60-day moratorium to residential areas with a high rate of COVID-19 spread.
The new orders are vulnerable to be attacked by the Supreme Court soon, as both the CDC and judiciary come to a crossroads on the eviction crisis.
The order would save almost 90% of the potentially vulnerable people from eviction.
The president tried to implement a ban from the White House but could not do so due to legal complications in the matter. The new 60-day moratorium will provide renters with additional time as the Court proceedings might buy some time for Democrats.
The administration’s actions of providing $21.6 billion as emergency rental aid to the renters to help prevent the eviction coupled with this step are expected to save people until the end of the current wave of the pandemic.
The processing of the $46.5 billion of collective aid approved by Congress for the emergency assistance of renters has been terribly slow, with most of the states struggling to spend even a single cent as of now out of the donations.
During the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, activists and policy experts took to the streets to fight for tenant rights and relief. As a result, the federal government announced an eviction ban and billions in rental assistance.
Congress signed an eviction moratorium in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in March 2020.
The act was limited in scope; therefore, the Trump Administration imposed a nationwide moratorium with help from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC suggests that almost 6.9 million Americans were behind on their rents, owing a collective amount of $20 billion to landlords.
Republicans Politicizing the Matter, Once Again
The Biden Administration is facing backlash from the judiciary and Republicans after the CDC extended the eviction ban for 60 days.
As Democrats walked the path of humanitarianism once again, Republicans are politicizing the matter, as Pennsylvania Republican Sean Parnell called the extension unconstitutional.
Republicans are equating the matter with the abundance of jobs issue, believing that these incentives can stop people from going to work.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the step, saying that the moratorium is not targeted nationwide, henceforth having legal justification.
Landlords in Action to End the Ban to Get their Pockets Filled
The pressure group badly influenced by this decision of the CDC are the landlords and realtors.
One such influential group has challenged the measure in the DC federal court, asking them to overturn the “unlawful” protection.
The Alabama Association of Realtors and other landlord groups said in their emergency filing that the new ban was imposed by the government to shift the blame on to the courts for ending the moratorium, labeling that the protection is inspired by “nakedly political reason.”
It is only a matter of time before the court can overturn the moratorium completely, putting the vulnerable people on the verge of eviction.
All Democrats need to do is to hasten the pace of vaccinations so that once it happens, it must not be an instrument of multiplying the virus among the masses.
As the number of homeless people will increase significantly with the expiration of the eviction ban, social unrest is also bound to explode exponentially.
The federal government can also push for vaccination drives for the people on the verge of eviction once the bans lifts. This way, these people may not end up being the carriers of the contagious disease that has brought the world to its knees.