Biden Administration Urges Rest of Government to Extend Eviction Moratorium
21:23 GMT 02.08.2021 (Updated: 21:47 GMT 02.08.2021)
© REUTERS / ELIZABETH FRANTZPeople gather on the House steps during a multi-day protest supporting an extension of the pandemic-related federal moratorium on residential evictions which has expired, outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., August 1, 2021.
© REUTERS / ELIZABETH FRANTZ
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Biden administration is calling on the federal health agency to agree to taking executive action and extending the pandemic-induced moratorium on evictions, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.
"Given the rising urgency of containing the spread of the Delta variant, on Sunday, the President asked the CDC to consider once again the possibility of executive action. He raised the prospect of a new, 30-day eviction moratorium - focused on counties with High or Substantial case rates—to protect renters," Psaki said on Monday.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and her team have been unable to find the legal authority needed for a new eviction moratorium, however. As a result, the Biden administration has directed his cabinet as well as state and local governments to do everything within their powers to prevent evictions.
Biden asked that all governors and mayors extend eviction moratoriums for a period of two months. He also directed several federal agencies to examine why state and local governments failed to distribute the rental assistance provided to them by Congress.
"We are going to do an all-agency review to make sure that we understand any potential reason why state and local governments are not getting funds out," American Rescue Plan coordinator Gene Sperling said.
Biden also directed the US Treasury Department to make clear to states and localities that they can use emergency housing and local relief money to support eviction prevention efforts.
The initiative from the White House comes amid discussion of congressional action on the matter as well, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi having called for fellow Democrats to support an extension of the eviction moratorium earlier on Monday.