- The Supreme Court struck down Biden’s eviction moratorium on Thursday.
- That leaves a handful of states, such as New York and California, with eviction bans in place.
- At least 7.4 million people are at risk of eviction in the next few months, per Census Data.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The Supreme Court dealt the Biden administration a fresh blow on Thursday evening when it struck down a nationwide eviction moratorium, imperiling millions of renters struggling to catch up on their monthly payments. It leaves just a handful of eviction bans in place at the state level.
In a 6-3 ruling, the high court said in an unsigned opinion that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had overstepped its authority by imposing a fresh moratorium tailored to areas struggling with high caseloads from the Delta variant. The court’s conservative justices said it was up to Congress to renew the moratorium, with three liberal justices in dissent.
The Biden administration issued the eviction ban on August 3 after progressives led by Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri stepped up pressure on the White House and demanded it. The moratorium was intended to last until October 3, with President Joe Biden saying the main goal was to allow time for the distribution of $US46 ($AU63) billion in emergency rental relief aid from his stimulus package.
Data from the Treasury Department shows only around 11% of that federal money has reached renters. States and municipalities are grappling with low staffing, onerous documentation requirements, and stubborn landlords who refuse to accept the aid among other bureaucratic hurdles.
According to legal information resource site Nolo, seven states and DC still have some eviction bans of their own still in effect, which aren’t affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling. You can scroll over each state to see more details about the ban:
Those states have different approaches to their moratoria. New York has a full eviction ban in place for only four more days, set to expire on August 31. Neighboring New Jersey's ban is more open-ended, intended to last through two months after the end of the emergency.
The District of Columbia has a plan to gradually phase out their ban, allowing progressively more legal action by landlords over the next several months.
Studies increasingly indicate that states with eviction bans have lower COVID-19 caseloads compared to those that don't. "There's plenty of research that shows eviction moratoria prevents case growth in states where an eviction moratorium was in place versus states where moratoriums were limited," Paul Williams, a housing expert at the Jain Family Institute, told Insider.
Democrats who favor an extension of the federal moratorium appear to have their hands tied because they don't have enough votes to pass a renewal in either the House or Senate. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that Democrats "will continue our work to ensure that families suffering hardship during the pandemic can have the safety of home" and attempt to speed up the delivery of rental relief.
But that may not come fast enough for millions of unemployed people who are on the verge of losing all their income from federal jobless aid after Labor Day. Democrats also don't have enough support for a renewal.