The CDC announced on Tuesday that a ban of COVID-related evictions would be put in effect until the end of the year (https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-order-prompts-cdc-to-ban-coronavirus-related-evictions-through-end-of-2020). This announcement comes after President Trump's August 8 executive order that included a federal eviction ban, a payroll tax suspension, relief for student borrowers, and $400 a week for the unemployed. Trump issued the executive order after talks over a new relief plan stalled between the White House and Congress.
The CDC order states, "a person violating this Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $100,000 if the violation does not result in a death or one year in jail, or both, or a fine of no more than $250,000 if the violation results in a death or one year in jail, or both, or as otherwise provided by law... An organization violating this Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in a death or $500,000 per event if the violation results in a death or as otherwise provided by law... The U.S. Department of Justice may initiate court proceedings as appropriate seeking imposition of these criminal penalties."
Several high profile leaders have called for continued rent relief until the pandemic subsides and the economy is able to recover. Back in July Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Jamaal Bowman (who is currently running for Congress) held an event highlighting the housing crisis and a need for change. She said “We are in a housing crisis that is both so enormous and also so quiet at the same time. We are not hearing enough about it. One in four renters in NYC has not been able to pay rent since March or April.”
Until Congress can come to an agreement on the next round of relief, however, significant progress cannot be made. At the end of the day the issue comes down to whether the long term risks (i.e. increased economic fallout from repeatedly deferring payments) are worth the short term expenses, but the debate becomes more sensitive when the livelihood of individuals is in the balance. One of the biggest struggles across the globe has been the continued uncertainty associated with this pandemic. Until an end is in sight, leaders will be forced to focus on short term goals.
Image Credit: Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP