End of Eviction Moratorium Results in New Guidance for Emergency Rental Assistance
On August 26, the United States Supreme Court ended the national eviction moratorium in Alabama Association of Realtors v. Department of Health and Human Services. The decision found that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lacked the statutory authority to issue a nationwide ban on evictions. The decision came after multiple federal courts struck down the moratorium on similar grounds, including a Sixth Circuit opinion that many Ohio courts were already following.
The Supreme Court’s decision comes amid reports of long delays in administering federal emergency rental assistance. Only 11 percent of the $4.65 billion allocated by Congress for emergency rental assistance has been spent.
With the end of the moratorium, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced new policies intended to speed the delivery of these funds to households facing eviction, including easing the documentation needed to get assistance.
The Biden administration is also calling on law firms and law schools to help fight evictions. Attorney General Merrick Garland is urging members of the legal community to take immediate action to help address the “looming housing and eviction crisis.”
The Ohio Supreme Court provided a toolkit to Ohio courts with strategies to assist households better access rental assistance and avoid preventable evictions. Ohio’s rental assistance programs are administered through the county community action agencies. The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio has a county-by-county list of rental assistance programs.
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When the pandemic hit, we knew that the economic fallout would impact the poorest Ohioans the hardest. What we did not anticipate was how long the pandemic would last and how devastating it would be. As Ohio emerges from the pandemic, those who struggled before and those who suffered from health and economic hardships will have the slowest recovery.
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