Washington, D.C. The eviction moratorium expired over the weekend, potentially forcing millions of Americans out of their homes.
As a result, the White House moved on Monday to exert pressure on state and local governments to swiftly adopt policies to protect renters.
In the Player Above, You Can Watch the Briefing.
The White House emphasised in a statement on Monday that the federal government has contributed $46.5 billion to keep renters in their homes. However, it charged that states and cities had been “too slow to act,” obstructing the delivery of that aid to tenants whose livelihoods had been destroyed by the pandemic.
Joe Biden Faces Sharp Criticism
The focus on states comes as President Joe Biden faces sharp criticism for being slow to address the end of the moratorium, including from some within his own party. Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house, referred to the possibility of widespread evictions as “unfathomable.”
The White House came under increased pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus to grant an immediate extension. Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, a Democrat who has been protesting and camped out, spoke briefly with Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday at the U.S. Capitol.
Some people could lose their homes as early as Monday. However, the White House is adamant that it can only do so much on its own and that local and state authorities must take the initiative to mobilise aid.
Gene Sperling, who is in charge of the administration’s coronavirus relief plans, told reporters, “The president is clear:
If some states and localities can get this out efficiently and effectively, there’s no reason there’s no reason every state and locality can.” Any state or locality that is not expediting their emergency rental assistance has no defence and nowhere to run.
Biden made the Announcement
Biden made the announcement that he would let the ban expire late last week. The Supreme Court indicated in a 5-4 vote in late June that it would not support further extensions, according to the White House, even though he would have supported extending the moratorium.
According to a statement made by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the moratorium could only be extended by Congress.
The White House noted that over the next month, state-level initiatives to prevent evictions would prevent evictions from happening in a third of the nation.
Which Issued the Eviction Ban
The administration is still looking into legal options to prevent evictions, but officials claimed they had few choices. The CDC, which issued the eviction ban, was unable to “find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium,” according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
As many as 1.4 million households told the Census Bureau they could “very likely” be evicted from their rentals in the upcoming two months, mass evictions could potentially worsen the recent spread of the COVID-19 delta variant. Another 2.2 million people claim that being evicted is “somewhat likely.”
According to Sperling, the administration will continue to look for new legal ways to keep people in their homes. He also pointed out that the Trump administration created ineffective guidelines for helping tenants and landlords, which served to highlight the complexity of the issue. Once Biden took office, those regulations that demanded extensive documentation were changed.
This is not a Simple Task
This is not a simple task, Sperling acknowledged. “As a nation, we’ve never had a national system in place or a national strategy to stop avoidable evictions.”
Pelosi, on the other hand, stated that she approved of the administration’s call for cities and states to enact their own moratoria. In addition, she noted that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen would brief lawmakers virtually on Tuesday as they work to ensure the states distribute federal aid more quickly.
The influential Financial Services Committee chair, Rep. Maxine Waters, and Yellen have been in private conversations for days. In a statement, she said that she urged Yellen to use her position to persuade states to send the funds out the door, and the Treasury Secretary has vowed to do so.
As part of the COVID-19 response after jobs shifted and many workers lost income, the CDC implemented the eviction ban. The restriction was put in place to prevent the virus from spreading among those who were left on the streets and to shelters.
Biden’s decision to allow the ban to expire, according to Democratic lawmakers, caught them off guard, infuriating them and revealing a rarely seen rift with the administration.
The ban expired at midnight on Saturday and Congress was unable to act quickly to renew it. According to the House Democratic leaders, it is now up to the Biden administration to take action.
Bush, a congresswoman from the St. Louis region, has been organising a protest at the Capitol since the day before it expired. Other prominent progressive Democrats, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, have occasionally joined her in calling for action.
Bush was visited outside the Capitol by Senators Bernie Sanders and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. However, she also had a quick conversation with Vice President Kamala Harris.
When I asked for help to stop our people from being evicted, I needed her to look me in the eyes and I wanted to look in hers, Bush wrote on Twitter. “Madam Vice President, let’s get this done together.”