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CDC extends eviction mortarium for certain renters as COVID cases increase

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 11:21 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 5:19 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - New guidelines have come down from the CDC to help keep struggling renters in their homes during the pandemic. A federal eviction moratorium is now being extended for 60 days, but it has very specific requirements when it comes to those who are eligible.

Under the current guidelines, a renter would have to be living in an area that’s experiencing high levels of coronavirus cases. The protection wouldn’t be automatic; the renter would have to actively pursue assistance.

“Richmond, in particular, had an eviction crisis,” said housing advocate Pastor Ralph Hodge. He has been fighting to keep renters inside of their homes. “We talk about eviction as a form of violence in a sense because it’s very violent to children. It’s not a simple thing of ‘OK, we’re going to put your things out on the street and that’s going to be it.’ I’ve been a teacher for 20 years, and when you talk about evictions and children, we’re talking about something that is...tremendously disruptive ...in their life. It just disrupts everything.”

He and other housing advocates were relieved to learn Tuesday that the CDC extended a moratorium on evictions for two more months.

“It’s definitely a victory. We were very concerned when the CDC moratorium expired on the 31st of July,” Victoria Horrock, with the Legal Aid Justice Center, said.

She calls the announcement a temporary solution. Her group is calling on state lawmakers to go above and beyond the CDC’s declaration by extending rental assistance until June of next year. Under a current proposal, which the General Assembly is now reviewing, landlords would have to inform their tenants of the available assistance and apply for it on their behalf.

“Last summer, when a lot of the protections that were initially put in place ended, we saw a huge spike in evictions,” Horrock said.

That’s the very thing they’re all working to prevent.

“How do you shelter in place with COVID rates going up, and then we’re going to put people on the street?” Hodge asked. “That’s almost a death sentence.”

Under the current moratorium, renters who qualify, including those who can prove they had a financial hit during the pandemic, have to submit the necessary documentation to their landlord. Nationwide, some 11 million people are behind on their rent as the delta variant continues to sweep the country.

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