Breaking Down the New CDC Eviction Order

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new temporary eviction moratorium for areas with high or substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission. The order came after the CDC’s previous moratorium expired on July 31st and as concerns are rising about the highly contagious delta variant.

The new moratorium is more narrowly targeted than the previous ban in that it covers only areas experiencing certain levels of coronavirus spread. The new order temporarily halts evictions in counties with “heightened levels” of COVID-19 spread until Oct. 3. Landlords and others with a “legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action” may not evict anyone covered under the order if the area they live in is experiencing high or substantial coronavirus transmission levels. Those who violate the order could face fines, jail time or both.

Consistent with the previous moratorium, to qualify as a covered person(s) for the protections under this Order, a tenant must provide a completed and signed copy of the CDC declaration form to the housing provider. (Any written document that an eligible tenant presents to a their landlord will comply with this Order as long it contains the same elements of  a “covered person” outlined in the Order.)

A “covered person” is defined as a person who has indicated the following: 

    • The individual has used best efforts to obtain all governmental assistance for rent or housing. 
    • The individual either (i) earned no more than $99,000 (or $198,000 if filing jointly) in the calendar year 2020 or expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for calendar year 2021 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a jointly) (ii) was not required to report any income  in 2020 to the U.S. IRS, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment (Stimulus Check).
    • The individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.
    • The individual is using best efforts to make timely partial rent payments that are as close to the full rent payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses. 
    • Eviction would likely render the individual homeless—or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting—because the individual has no other available housing options.
    • Individual resides in a U.S. county experiencing substantial or high rates of community transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2.

Tenants who have previously provided a declaration form or notice to housing providers do not submit a new declaration as long as the previous declaration remain truthful and accurate.

The new order applies only to areas that are experiencing substantial or high COVID-19 transmission levels. Each county’s transmission level can be found here. As of today, the moratorium applies in all eleven counties in the greater Triangle.

This order does not preclude evictions based on tenant: (1) engaging in criminal activity while on the premises; (2) threatening the health or safety of other resident; (3) damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property; (4) violating any building code , health ordinance or any other similar regulation relating to health and safety; (5) violating any other contractual obligation other than timely payment of rent or similar housing related payment. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published a new tool to help locate rental assistance programs across the country. To find your local program, click here.