The Biden administration won’t move to extend a federal moratorium on the evictions of tenants who have fallen behind on their rent during the Covid-19 pandemic but is asking Congress to authorize such an extension.
President Biden would have “strongly supported” a move to further extend the existing moratorium, scheduled to expire on Saturday, but that option is no longer legally viable after a recent Supreme Court ruling, the administration said in a statement by press secretary Jen Psaki.
State and local governments have struggled to distribute $47 billion in federal money aimed at helping tenants who can’t pay rent because of the pandemic-triggered downturn, leaving many people at risk of being forced out of their homes when the moratorium expires.
Just $3 billion of the aid authorized by Congress in December and March had been delivered to landlords and tenants as of June 30, the Treasury Department said in a report last week. About 8.2 million adults were behind on their rent or mortgage as of July 5 and have low confidence they can pay on time next month, a Census Bureau survey showed.
Ms. Psaki said the moratorium was ending at a time of heightened vulnerability for tenants as the Delta variant of the virus continued to spread in many parts of the country, but she said congressional action was the only path forward.