The CDC issued a new “targeted” eviction moratorium through at least Oct. 3, 2021, as a result of the increasing COVID-19 infection rate across the country.
Instead of being a blanket nationwide moratorium, the new eviction moratorium is targeted to counties “experiencing substantial or high levels of community transmission levels” of COVID-19.
Substantial community transmission is defined as a county within the previous seven days having between 51-100 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 county residents or up to a 10% positive test rate. A high level of community transmission is defined as having within the prior seven days more than 100 new cases per county population of 100,000 or a positive test rate greater than 10%.
The CDC estimates that as of August 3, 80% of counties within the country were experiencing substantial or high levels of community transmission, covering 90% of the U.S. population. Over 30 Pennsylvania counties were at that level as of August 5.
The CDC’s eviction moratorium will no longer apply to a covered county once the county’s levels of community transmission falls below either substantial or high community transmission levels for 14 consecutive days.
Further, the moratorium does not apply if local eviction restrictions are at least equal to the CDC’s order or where enforcement is prohibited by federal court order.
Federal courts have come to differing conclusions as to whether the CDC has the authority to impose an eviction moratorium. No federal court in Pennsylvania has prohibited enforcement of any prior CDC eviction moratorium, so the moratorium is currently enforceable in Pennsylvania.
To be protected by the moratorium, a tenant must meet the same qualifications as in prior CDC eviction moratorium orders and provide an affidavit attesting that the tenant qualifies under the CDC’s order. Any prior affidavit provided by a tenant to a landlord remains valid during the new order. Landlords are also still able to evict tenants for reasons other than non-payment of rent.
Landlords and tenants can still utilize the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and are encouraged to make applications for those funds to the extent possible.
NAR had previously challenged the moratorium and yesterday, the Alabama and Georgia associations of Realtors® filed an emergency motion with Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, requesting and enforcement of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent order that the CDC could not extend the moratorium without new legislation.
This is likely an evolving situation and we will provide updates they occur.