Democtrats Aim To Prevent Mass Evictions

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US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi praised the victory of her Democrats in controlling the chamber for another two years
US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi praised the victory of her Democrats in controlling the chamber for another two years POOL / J. Scott Applewhite

The federal moratorium on evictions expired Saturday putting millions of tenants at risk of being evicted. 

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have reportedly begun working with congressional Democrats this week to stave off a potential housing and health crisis, amid the growing threat of the Delta variant.

The White House said Biden would have "strongly supported" a decision to extend the moratorium, but cited the Supreme Court’s decision on June 26 that neither the White House nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could extend the moratorium any longer without Congressional approval.

"To date, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and her team have been unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium. Our team is redoubling efforts to identify all available legal authorities to provide necessary protections," the White House said Monday in a statement.

"In the meantime, the President will continue to do everything in his power to help renters from eviction. The Administration has provided States and local governments with the flexibility to get funds out efficiently without burdensome documentation; to use funds to help those who are homeless or in need of new housing; and to use American Rescue Plan State and local funds to expand any effort to help those whose housing is at risk due to the pandemic."

The Biden administration has blamed slow implementation at the state level for the disbursement of just $3 billion from the $46.5 billion Emergency Rental Assistance program.

On Tuesday, Pelosi addressed House Democrats’ advocacy on extending the eviction moratorium and praised the efforts of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., for their leadership.

“House Democrats stand ready to work with the Administration as they search for ways to extend the moratorium,” Pelosi said in a statement.

“House Democrats stand ready to work with the Administration as they search for ways to extend the moratorium and as they urge states and localities to spend the $46.5 billion that Congress allocated.  Our sole focus must be keeping people housed and we must do so with the urgency this moment deserves.”

As COVID-19 cases rise with the highly contagious Delta variant, 1.4 million people will “very likely” be evicted in the next two months with another 2.2 million being “somewhat likely,” the Associated Press reported.

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