Personal Finance

The CDC extended the national eviction ban through July. What that means for renters

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Key Points
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's eviction moratorium has been extended through July, offering renters an additional month of protection.
  • Even as the pandemic peters out, more than 10 million Americans remain behind on their rent.
Renter advocacy groups have pressured the administration of President Joe Biden to extend the CDC eviction ban for at least another month.
Carlos Barria | Reuters

Struggling renters will have a little more time before they have to worry about eviction.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday extended the national moratorium on evictions through the end of July. The policy, which has been in place since September of 2020, prohibits almost all evictions for nonpayment of rent. The ban was previously slated to expire on June 30.

The Biden administration on Thursday also extended the foreclosure moratorium for federally backed mortgages by a month, to July 31.

Both the federal eviction and foreclosure extensions are intended to be the final ones that renters and homeowners receive, according to the administration.

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Homeowners who haven't yet taken advantage of forbearance can do so through Sept. 30, according to the White House. In July, federal agencies will also offer borrowers payment reduction options that will allow more homeowners to stay in their homes, the administration said.

Advocates had put pressure on the administration to keep the eviction ban in place for longer. Congress has allocated $45 billion in rental assistance, but the money has been painfully slow to reach people. And more than 10 million Americans remain behind on their rent.

"Any extension at this point is hugely welcome, but it's hard to tell how quickly the rental assistance programs are going to get to the point where they've met the huge demand that is out there," said John Pollock, coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel. 

The extensions are part of a broader initiative the White House outlined Thursday to help renters and homeowners hard hit by the Covid pandemic.

It's an "all hands on deck challenge" to "help landlords that are hurt, but keep families in their home," White House officials said.

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How evictions work in the U.S.

The Department of Justice is urging state and local courts to participate in anti-eviction diversion efforts. Diversion programs can help landlords and tenants reach agreements and get access to emergency rental assistance to help keep families in homes while making landlords whole, according to administration officials.

Among other measures, officials are also encouraging major cities across the country to put together coalitions and community-specific plans to avoid any potential for a flood of evictions.

"This is not just an ask," White House officials said Thursday. "There are resources to help with the policies."

Here's what renters need to know about the eviction moratorium.

Who's eligible?

To get the protection from eviction, you'll need to attest on a declaration form that you meet a few requirements, such as that you earned less than $99,000 in 2020 or 2021.

You'll need to have experienced a financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic, such as high medical expenses or a reduction in hours at work.

Renters are also required to confirm that an eviction could lead to them becoming homeless or needing to double up with family or others, and that they've tried to apply for rental assistance.

This form should go to your landlord.

What if I'm already facing eviction?

Try speaking to your landlord, experts say.

"Tell them, 'This is going to be pushed back another month,'" Pollock said.

If your landlord ignores the moratorium's extension, get a lawyer as soon as possible. You can find low-cost or free legal help regarding an eviction in your state at Lawhelp.org.

Tenants now have a right to counsel in Washington, Maryland and Connecticut, as well as a number of cities, including New York, Philadelphia and Seattle.

What else can I do?

Apply for rental assistance. The National Low Income Housing Coalition has a state-by-state list of the 429 programs giving out money for struggling renters.

You could receive up to 18 months of assistance, including a mix of payments for back and future rent.

Also, familiarize yourself with your other rights. In addition to the CDC's ban on evictions, which will likely last until August, a number of states and cities have moratoriums or other protections for renters that will last longer.

New York, for example, has extended its eviction ban until September. 

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, lawmakers just struck a deal prohibiting the eviction of any renters who are in the process of applying for rental assistance. That protection will last for 12 months, until June 2022.

Tenants in Nevada also can't be forced out if their rental assistance application is pending or if their landlord refuses to accept the aid.