The Biden Administration has announced that effective August 4th, 2021, the CDC moratorium on evictions will be extended through October 3, 2021. While the guidelines for tenant qualifications remain the same, the moratorium is extended only to U.S. counties “experiencing substantial or high levels of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2″ (pg. 1). For more information on tenant qualifications, please reference the federal order (pgs. 2-3).
Counties throughout Texas and the United States can learn if the moratorium covers their jurisdiction by using the CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracker. According to the White House, this extension covers over 90% of the U.S. and includes all major Texas counties, which means that qualified tenants will be protected from nonpayment evictions through October 3rd, 2021.
See below for maps of the CDC’s Data Tracker for the United States and Texas, which highlight qualifying “high levels of community transmission” in bright red and “substantial levels of community transmission” in orange. For a more interactive report on cities, states, and counties, please navigate to their data tool/website.
This moratorium extension is important but not a complete fix. The Biden Administration recognized the importance of the eviction moratorium with rising COVID cases and rent relief still rolling out, but chose to enact an extension more than two days after the previous order’s expiration date. Unfortunately for tenants with eviction hearings on the 2nd or 3rd of August, the order “does not operate retroactively” (pg. 13).
While it may appear to be a brief moratorium lapse, Texas Housers’ Houston Eviction Court Watch Program witnessed a surge in eviction cases in Harris County as the July 31st expiration date loomed, as well as actual evictions taking place during this two-day period from August 1st to August 3rd. It is likely that it will take time for local eviction courts to adjust to the news, which means even more tenants may be evicted wrongfully in the coming weeks. For the reasons of unequal and arbitrary justice experienced by tenants affected by COVID-19, we implore that further action is taken by the Biden Administration to seal COVID-19 related eviction cases ruled for the plaintiff during the period of moratorium lapse.
The CDC moratorium on evictions also expires automatically if a U.S. county previously covered by the order “no longer experiences substantial or high levels of community transmission for 14 consecutive days…” (pg 13). For more information, please see the CDC website and NPR’s The Biden Administration Issues A New Eviction Moratorium After A Federal Ban Lapsed.
Would you like to make a difference in the lives of tenants facing eviction during COVID-19? If you’d like to be a volunteer court observer, please navigate to our website and click “Train to be an Observer.” This is a volunteer opportunity, so experience is not necessary, and observations are all done online. After you fill out the form, Texas Housers will be in contact with you about upcoming training sessions.