Less than one week before its June 30 expiration date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday it is extending its eviction moratorium through July. The agency also said this is intended to be the final extension.
The order, signed by agency director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, cited ongoing efforts to finish distributing billions in federal emergency rental assistance to landlords and tenants to help alleviate missed rent and utility payments. Congress set aside $25 billion in rental aid late last year, then added $21.55 billion more in March.
Much of that money was distributed to state and local governments to disperse to qualified residents. But some states didn’t have assistance programs up and running until late May or June 1, and the U.S. Treasury believes more money will be distributed in July “than in any previous month,” according to the order.
Florida’s statewide rental assistance program was launched in mid-May. Representatives of the state Department of Children and Families, which is overseeing the program, did not respond to emailed questions about how much money has been distributed so far. Tampa Bay cities and counties also have their own programs.
“Though there are indications that emergency rental assistance has started to reach increasing numbers of families over recent months, state and local agencies likely have hundreds of thousands of applications for assistance that currently remain outstanding as programs accelerate their activity,” the extension order reads.
Amanda Gill, the government affairs director for the Florida Apartment Association, which represents Florida landlords, said that the federal moratorium “has never addressed the underlying issue, which is an individual’s inability to pay rent. This flawed policy leaves renters facing insurmountable debt while jeopardizing our already strained rental housing supply.”
Regardless of the extension, Gill said, “the Florida apartment industry will continue to focus on keeping residents stably housed by navigating the patchwork of rental assistance program requirements across the state ... to ensure the expeditious delivery of these much needed funds.”
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