Landlord groups are suing the Biden administration for extending the pandemic eviction moratorium from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, claiming the new order can only be extended by new legislation, as ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Alabama and Georgia associations of Realtors filed an emergency motion Wednesday night with Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, asking her to enforce the Supreme Court's recent order stating that the CDC could not extend the moratorium without new legislation.
The Alabama Association of Realtors said the CDC issued the new order "for nakedly political reasons – to ease the political pressure, shift the blame to the courts for ending the moratorium, and use litigation delays to achieve a policy objective."
"About half of all housing providers are mom-and-pop operators, and without rental income, they cannot pay their own bills or maintain their properties," NAR President Charlie Oppler, a broker-owner from New Jersey, wrote in a statement. "NAR has always advocated the best solution for all parties was rental assistance paid directly to housing providers to cover the rent and utilities of any vulnerable tenants during the pandemic. No housing provider wants to evict a tenant and considers it only as a last resort."
Rental assistance is now available in every state to cover up to a year-and-a-half of back and future bills, the NAR noted.
"We should direct our energy toward the swift implementation of rental assistance," Oppler's statement continues. "We do not need more uncertainty for tenants or housing providers."
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a new online tool where renters and housing providers who continue to face pandemic-related financial hardships can locate and apply for payment assistance for rent, utilities, and other expenses. The new Rental Assistance Finder, at consumerfinance.gov/renthelp, can guide housing providers and renters to aid programs in their area.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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