CDC’s eviction moratorium extended through June 30

    BRIEF

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the extension of an eviction moratorium that it first announced in September during President Donald Trump’s administration as a way to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus and reduce the incidence of COVID-19. The moratorium was set to expire Wednesday, but according to an explanatory document from the CDC, with the extension the order “temporarily halts residential evictions of covered persons for nonpayment of rent” from during September 4, 2020, through June 30.

    In announcing the extension Monday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the nation’s public health. Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

    According to that CDC document, “This means that a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue an eviction or a possessory action cannot evict for nonpayment of rent any covered person from any residential property in any U.S. state or U.S. territory where the Order applies.”

    Cashauna Hill, executive director of the Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center said in a Tuesday morning statement that the order doesn’t offer the protection desperate residents might believe it does.  “While we welcome the extension, we know that many landlords will continue to try and evict families under this order, and that hostile courts will allow them to do so,” she said. “Unfortunately, the new order still fails to close the loopholes that allow families to be forced from their homes–an outcome that public health experts have connected to increased spread of COVID-19, hospitalizations, and death. Without further protection, and while waiting for rental assistance, Louisianans will continue to get sick and die.”

    Residents at risk of eviction can complete the form below to determine if they meet the order’s income qualifications and to declare that they would be homeless if evicted.

     

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    Jarvis DeBerry
    Jarvis DeBerry, editor of the Louisiana Illuminator, spent 22 years at The Times-Picayune (and later NOLA.com) as a crime and courts reporter, an editorial writer, columnist and deputy opinions editor. He was on the team of Times-Picayune journalists awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service after that team’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the deadly flood that followed. In addition to the shared Pulitzer, DeBerry has won awards from the Louisiana Bar Association for best trial coverage and awards from the New Orleans Press Club, the Louisiana/ Mississippi Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists for his columns. A collection of his Times-Picayune columns, “I Feel to Believe” was published by the University of New Orleans Press in September 2020.