WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has extended a moratorium on housing evictions through the end of June, continuing a stopgap measure for millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The move comes days before the ban on evictions for renters affected by the pandemic was set to expire. Housing and poverty advocates had been urging the administration to extend the protection because unemployment remains above 6 percent and around 1,000 people a day continue to die from Covid-19.
More than 10 million Americans are behind on rent or mortgage payments, and more than 5 million say they are at risk of eviction or foreclosure, according to a Census Bureau survey. The Covid-19 relief bill signed into law this month provides $21.5 billion in emergency rental assistance, though it could take time for the money to get to those who need it.
The prohibition on evicting renters was first put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, with public health officials arguing it was needed to help stop the spread of Covid-19 in congregate settings, like homeless shelters. Biden, shortly after taking office in January, extended the moratorium through the end of March.
The moratorium applies to single renters making $99,000 or less and couples earning less than $198,000 who must declare they can’t pay for rent because of Covid-related hardships and will become homeless if evicted.