The federal eviction ban imposed last year in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic ended Saturday midnight. News agencies have reported that millions of people are at risk of taking to the streets, or better yet, to a homeless shelter.
The Center for Epidemiology and Disease Prevention (CDC) announced back in June that it would not extend the federal ban beyond July 31, a 5:4 Supreme Court ruling that only permits so far. The Democratic-majority Congress had a chance to bypass it, but it didn’t.
The regulation applies to unmarried renters whose annual income does not exceed $99,000. For married couples, their combined annual income is no more than $198,000.
According to the AP, there are several reasons, partly political, for the failure to resolve the problem of rent arrears.
Congress in Washington last year voted on a nearly $47 billion budget to make up for unpaid rents, but payments through local governments are too slow.
US President Joe Biden said Thursday that he will not appeal the Supreme Court’s decision not to extend the moratorium beyond July 31.
According to the Associated Press, the president feared the court would make a decision in response that would significantly limit the government’s ability to act in health crises. Instead, Congress called for the moratorium to be quickly extended again. However, the Democratic Party was unable to draft a bill that would have received majority support because even in their ranks there were skeptics of the bill.
Several Democratic lawmakers are blaming the president that the freeze is over, saying they should have appealed the Supreme Court ruling. According to the Associated Press, the issue marks a major rupture between the president and his fellow party members.
Several member states, such as New York, have extended the eviction ban under their jurisdiction. According to official figures, at the end of March, about 6.4 million American families were behind on rent. On July 1, some 3.6 million people thought they might be fired in the next two months.
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