CDC’s Eviction Ban Faces Legal, Political Challenges

CDC’s Eviction Ban Faces Legal, Political Challenges

Legal and political challenges may undercut the Trump administration’s new eviction ban, and advocates for both tenants and the real estate industry are concerned there will be a dangerous housing crisis when 2021 comes. 

“This is definitely unprecedented,” said Lindsay Wiley, a law professor and director of the health law and policy program at American University, reports The Hill. “The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has really broad authority on its face, but it’s never pushed the boundaries of that authority,” she said.

Tuesday, the CDC issued an order that bans landlords from evicting tenants through the end of the year who can’t pay their rent because of a pandemic-related hardship, meaning that all the nation’s rental households can keep their homes during the pandemic. 

But exprets say that the new rule tests the CDC’s powers and that it will face legal challenges, and the rule will eventually cost both landlords and tenants money, as landlords will lose rental income for months, while tenants will be faced to make up the payments when the ban ends. 

The legal basis of the ban rests on an interpretation of a 1944 law that gives the CDC power to take action deemed necessary to stop the transmission of infectious disease, and Wiley said it appears the rule will face legal challenges, as the regulation in question focuses on fumigation and sanitation practices. 

Democrats have praised the Trump administration for the ban but said rental assistance aid for tenants and landlords is needed to make it work. In June, the House passed a bill providing $100 billion in rental aid to cover costs of a year-long eviction and foreclosure ban, but the measure wasn’t taken up in the Senate. 

“Without emergency rental assistance renters – and their landlords – will fall further and further behind with each passing month,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, Monday in a statement. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday during House committee testimony that he approves of boosting rental assistance, and Democrats are making housing protections a top priority in their negotiations. 

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