8.27.21 Advocacy Alert: SCOTUS Tosses Federal Eviction Moratorium

Last night, the Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s latest eviction moratorium. In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that Biden and the CDC do not have legal authority to issue the moratorium without a specific act of Congress.  

Earlier this month, Biden extended the moratorium through October 3, despite expressing his doubts about the constitutionality of the decision.  

The majority opinion reads: “It is indisputable that the public has a strong interest in combating the spread of the COVID–19 Delta variant. But our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends. … It is up to Congress, not the CDC, to decide whether the public interest merits further action here.” 

Earlier this year, the New York State Legislature imposed its own eviction moratorium, which expires August 31.  

To alleviate the burden of back rent owed by tenants, the BNP successfully advocated for the inclusion of a rental assistance fund in the American Rescue Plan. However, as of last week, only $156 million of New York’s $2.7 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds were distributed.  

The failure of the state to promptly distribute these funds leaves landlords without needed revenue and leaves tenants who should qualify for assistance at risk of eviction. In a welcome letter to Governor Hochul last week, the BNP urged her to make efficient ERAP distribution a top priority of her first 100 days in office.  

Tenants and landlords in need of assistance should consider applying for ERAP here.  


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