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White House says it cannot extend moratorium on evictions

At the White House press conference on Monday, US bailout coordinator Gene Sperling said President Biden was using “any federal authority” he had to stop the evictions.

Video transcript

SPERLING GENE: Regarding evictions, the president has long fought for a moratorium on evictions. He actually proposed to extend a moratorium on evictions until September 30, when he took office. And I think that was not possible due to the rules of reconciliation, but it was his initial political position that he put forward.

He also supported the CDC extending its moratorium on evictions, first from Jan.20 to May 31, and then from May 31 to June 30. And then even when there were legal issues and legal risks, he backed them up by extending it until July 31. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court said on June 29 that the CDC could not grant such an extension without clear and specific authorization from Congress.

But given the growing urgency of the spread of the Delta variant, the President has called on all of us, including the CDC, to do everything in our power to seek out any potential legal authorities we may have to prevent the evictions. To date, the CDC director and her team have been unable to find legal authority for even a more targeted eviction moratorium that would focus only on counties with the highest COVID spread rates. students.

But again, the president’s goal is for us to do everything in our power. Or should I say, whatever it takes to help prevent unnecessary, inevitable and painful evictions. One of the things he is asking today is that state and local governments extend or adopt moratoriums on evictions to cover the next two months.

Currently, 1 in 3 tenants who are behind on rent are in fact protected beyond the federal moratorium on evictions by extensive moratoria on state and local evictions. The president is calling for all governors and mayors to follow suit and extend the moratoriums up to four – not up to, but up to two months.

Second, this president is asking his departments that provide mortgages to extend the moratoriums on evictions that they have the power to extend. So that covers USDA, VA, and HUD. Third, we have already announced that those with federally guaranteed mortgages cannot evict without 30 days notice.

But today the president goes deeper into Friday’s statement then struck by cabinet members. And in his instructions today, he’s asking the USDA, VA, and HUD, as well as the Treasury Department, to make it clear that those who benefit from government-guaranteed mortgages, or even housing-related tax breaks, should not seek evictions without first applying for emergency rent assistance funding which allows – which makes landlords completely whole, who can pay up to 18 months of rent and services front and rear audiences.

Finally, as Congress leadership has discussed and requested, we will conduct a review of all agencies to ensure that we understand any potential reasons why state and local governments are not receiving funding, and to ensure that we use all authorities, regardless of federal that we need to prevent evictions.

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