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President Joe Biden asked Congress on Thursday to extend the eviction moratorium that is set to expire this Saturday, which prohibits landlords across the country from evicting certain non-paying tenants amid the pandemic of covid-19.
Last month, the Supreme Court allowed the order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to remain in effect until July 31, but said it would be needed. an action by Congress to extend it beyond that date.
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"Given the recent spread of the delta variant, even among Americans who are most likely to face evictions and lack vaccines, President Biden would have strongly supported a CDC decision to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect tenants. at this time of greatest vulnerability.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court made it clear that this option is no longer available, "White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday.
Psaki added: "In light of the Supreme Court ruling, the President calls on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect vulnerable tenants and their families without delay."
The moratorium aims to keep people in their homes and out of crowded settings, including homeless shelters, as a way to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
This request comes as cases increase across the country, driven by the highly communicable delta variant that spreads in areas with low vaccination rates.
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Biden also asked the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Veterans Affairs to extend their respective eviction moratoriums until the end of September, Psaki said.
The president urges states and localities to "urgently accelerate" their efforts to distribute rental assistance funds as the CDC's moratorium on eviction ends this weekend.
A coalition of real estate agent groups had asked the Supreme Court to block the CDC order, arguing that "Congress never gave the CDC the staggering amount of power it now claims."
They argued that the moratorium has resulted in "more than $ 13 billion in unpaid rent per month."
The CDC order first went into effect in September and initially expired in late 2020, but was later extended multiple times.
As one of his first acts in office, Biden asked the CDC to extend the ban until March 31.
The original eviction ban was approved by lawmakers as part of a huge COVID-19 pandemic relief bill in March 2020.
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The $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package Biden enacted in March includes about $ 50 billion in rental assistance for renters, homeowners and the homeless in distress.
It also includes $ 27 billion in rental assistance, $ 10 billion in mortgage payment assistance and $ 5 billion to address homelessness.
Nearly $ 50 billion in federal money has been earmarked for tenant rental assistance through the federal stimulus, including $ 25 billion from the December stimulus and $ 22 billion from the American Rescue Plan in March.