*The Trump administration said Tuesday it is issuing a four-month freeze on residential evictions.
Millions of Americans are reportedly in danger of getting evicted by the end of September. With this eviction moratorium, Trump is bypassing Congress in an attempt to get a handle on the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
“President Trump is committed to helping hard-working Americans stay in their homes and combating the spread of the coronavirus,” White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern told reporters Tuesday.
“While Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats play political games and refuse to negotiate in good faith on another round of needed relief, President Trump is helping families overcome unprecedented challenges,” Morgenstern said.
The moratorium, announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will run through Dec. 31, and applies to individuals earning less than $99,000 a year and who are unable to make rent or housing payments, MSN reports.
Across the country, ordinary people worry how they’ll pay their rent, put food on their tables or find employment. Yet the GOP painted a picture of a booming economy this week at the RNC. Here’s the truth about the Trump economy and how it’s (not) working pic.twitter.com/qZnlWYPXX0
— Paul the other one, it’s got bells (@paulcshipley) August 29, 2020
“People struggling to pay rent, due to the coronavirus, will not have to worry about being evicted and risk the further spreading of or exposure to the disease due to economic hardship,” Morgenstern said.
Health officials are using the 1944 Public Health Service Act to stop evictions, which gives the administration broad quarantine powers, according to the report.
Renters must sign a declaration stating they can’t pay rent because of job loss or due to medical expenses related to the virus, per Business Insider.
“This Order does not relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make a housing payment, or comply with any other obligation that the individual may have under a tenancy, lease, or similar contract,” according to a draft of the directive posted on the Federal Register.
Critics warn that renters will continue to accrue back payments during the eviction pause, and they must pay up come next year.
Landlords will reportedly be required to continue to make their own payments during the freeze.
“The very least the federal government ought to do is assure each of us that we won’t lose our homes in the middle of a global pandemic,” said National Low Income Housing Coalition president and CEO Diane Yentel. “But while an eviction moratorium is an essential step, it is a half-measure that extends a financial cliff for renters to fall off of when the moratorium expires and back rent is owed.”
“An eviction moratorium will ultimately harm the very people it aims to help by making it impossible for housing providers, particularly small owners, to meet their financial obligations and continue to provide shelter to their residents,” said Doug Bibby, president of the National Multifamily Housing Council.