CDC Issues Eviction Ban FAQs
On Oct. 9, the CDC issued FAQs for the eviction moratorium in place from Sept. 4 through Dec. 30. The FAQs were issued jointly by the CDC, HUD, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to clarify outstanding questions related to the declaration used by tenants to certify eligibility for the protections, as well as timing for housing providers initiating evictions. The document can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/eviction-moratoria-order-faqs.pdf.
Resident declaration. The FAQs clarify that in order to make use of the eviction protections, the resident, or more specifically, each adult on the lease, must submit to the housing provider a declaration confirming eligibility based on five criteria. The criteria include threat of housing instability if evicted and loss of income. An exception to the lost income criteria is available to tenants who have experienced significant out-of-pocket medical expenses. The declaration can be hard copy or electronic and doesn’t need to be passed on to the CDC. Housing providers aren’t required to notify residents of these protections.
Timing. After the expiration of the previous eviction moratorium on July 24, more than a month elapsed until the CDC issued a new eviction ban on Sept. 4. The FAQs clearly state that even if an eviction was initiated before Sept. 4, it can’t move forward while the new order is in place. But those who were evicted prior to Sept. 4 are not protected by the CDC order.
Emergency rental assistance. For residents to access emergency rental assistance, some state or local agencies have required proof of imminent eviction. With the moratorium, residents and owners have been confused as to how to access the funds. The FAQs go over various sources for emergency rental assistance. The FAQs also state that the order doesn’t prevent an owner from initiating the eviction, as long as the actual eviction doesn’t take place during the order.