The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering extending eviction protection for renters past March, reports CNBC.
The moratorium is set to expire at the end of this month.
The agency sent a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget for regulatory review, which experts say indicates the administration will extend the order.
“It’s not a guarantee, but the submission to OMB means that it is likely” to happen, Shamus Roller, executive director of the National Housing Law Project, told the news outlet.
The CDC announced a ban on eviction struggling renters during the pandemic last September. More than 2,200 organizations have written to President Joe Biden urging him to extend the moratorium, including AARP, the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union.
They cited research published last December showing that evictions have led to as many as 433,700 additional coronavirus cases and 10,700 additional deaths in the U.S. between March and September.
“When people are evicted, they often move in with friends and family, and that increases your number of contacts,” Kathryn Leifheit, one of the authors on the research and a postdoctoral fellow at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, told CNBC last November. “If people have to enter a homeless shelter, these are indoor places that can be quite crowded.”
Almost 10 million Americans are behind on their rent payments, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Moody’s in a January report said it expected about $57 billion in total owed by those behind on their monthly payments, estimates based on the on the Bureau of the Census Household Pulse Survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey and credit bureau Equifax, among other sources.
The $900 billion relief package, Moody’s said, estimated that some 3.5 million renters would be able to pay back rent and utilities by the time February payments were due, leaving 6.8 million delinquent renters owing $34 billion.
But Congress in early March approved another $50 billion for rental assistance, which includes back rent.
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