Supreme Court Blocks CDC Ban

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Here in the United States, we are currently preparing and building housing for a large mass of refugees from Afghanistan, while simultaneously setting up millions of American citizens to be evicted from their homes. While the current state of affairs may seem like a paradox on many levels, the CDC’s call for a ban on evictions has been dropped as the Supreme Court ruled last week that the move was unconstitutional. Property owners have claimed over the past year that the ban placed an undue financial burden on them, while millions of renters have fallen behind on payments due to the pandemic, job loss and economic hardship. With the new decision from the Supreme Court, the potential for evictions across the nation have returned for those who have fallen behind. 

The CDC had issued a federal moratorium to ban evictions across America on August 3rd, but as of August 26th the move was blocked by the Supreme Court decision. Ruled in a 6 to 3 vote, the majority issued an unsigned statement that claimed the CDC lacked authority to place a ban on evictions without approval from Congress.

The court said, “It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken. But that has not happened. Instead, the CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination. It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts. If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it.”

There is a possibility in the future that Congress may take action to back such a plan, with support from the Biden administration still remaining, but for the moment no such action has moved forward. For now, evictions are set to begin once again.

Census Bureau data reveals that currently around 3.5 million people in the United States say they face potential eviction in the next two months. The Wall Street Journal also reports that The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities data suggests that the number of adults living in households behind on rent could be over 11 million. 

The Wall Street Journal also reports that the US Treasury has said that only 11% of the 45 billion dollar rental assistance program authorized by Congress has been distributed. While these already set funds could be helping all of those in need, the majority of the funding seems to be held back on a local level.

From a report by Just the News, National Association of Realtors President Charlie Oppler said recently, “About half of all housing providers are mom and pop operators, and without rental income, they cannot pay their own bills or maintain their properties. NAR has always advocated the best solution for all parties was rental assistance paid directly to housing providers to cover the rent and utilities of any vulnerable tenants during the pandemic. No housing provider wants to evict a tenant and considers it only as a last resort.”

Republican Cathay McMorris said, “This was entirely avoidable, especially if the Administration properly managed and ensured the rental assistance Congress had already passed was sent to the people who needed it. President Biden said himself extending the unlawful eviction moratorium was ‘not likely to pass constitutional muster.’ Now, as predicted, we have more uncertainty and confusion. It’s because of the administration’s mismanagement and disregard for the rule of law.”

Like the withdrawal from Afghanistan, it seems like the blame is currently being placed on a lack of planning and implementation around the efforts to send out the allocated funds to renters in need across the nation. With the homelessness crisis still raging in cities across the nation, the last thing we need to see is a greater rise in the number of Americans who are becoming homeless. With assistance established, it is crucial that the funds are given to those who need help in keeping their homes. That way both the renters and owners remain financially stable into the coming fall and winter as the pandemic continues to affect the nation. Regardless of what the future has in store for American citizens in need, the current administration can be expected to continue setting up housing for the refugees from Afghanistan.

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