Federal Judge Dabney Friedrich has struck down the national eviction moratorium which could leave millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes. On the other hand, Housing advocates are of the opinion that the national ban is necessary to stave off an unprecedented displacement of Americans, which could worsen the coronavirus pandemic just as the country is turning a corner.
Meanwhile, Property owners have criticized the policy and say landlords can’t afford to continue housing people for free.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had banned most evictions across the country since September. The protection, initially slated to expire at the end of January, was first extended by President Joe Biden until April, and then later through June.
Some 1 in 5 renters across the U.S. are struggling to keep up with their payments amid the coronavirus pandemic, and states are scrambling to disburse more than $45 billion in rental assistance allocated by Congress.
A spokesman for the Department of Justice said it planned to appeal the ruling. It also seeks a stay of the decision, meaning the ban would remain in effect throughout the court battle. The decision by Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who was appointed to the court in 2017 by former President Donald Trump, is a victory for the property owners who’ve challenged the CDC’s moratorium.
Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said she was confident the judge’s ruling wouldn’t strip renters across the country of the CDC’s protection.
“Several court rulings have attempted to strike down the moratorium, but all had limited application,” Yentel said. “While this ruling is written more starkly than previous ones, it likely has equally limited application, impacting only the plaintiffs who brought the case.”