Struggling renters will likely have a little more time before they have to worry about eviction.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to extend the national moratorium on evictions that has been in place since September 2020 for another month, according to reporting by Reuters. The policy prohibits almost all evictions for nonpayment of rent and was slated to expire on June 30.
Advocates put pressure on the Biden administration to keep the 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.
Here’s what you need to know.
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 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?
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.