After the Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s moratorium on evictions, more tenants around the country will have to rely on Emergency Rental Assistance payments to cover their rent or risk losing their place of residence. As numbers from the Department of the Treasury show, that help has been slow to reach renters, however. As of July 31, only around $5.2 billion of the $46.6 billion program funding had been given out.
The moratorium, issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had been in place since September 2020 and was renewed at the beginning of August 2021, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to limit tenants’ ability to earn a living or earn enough to pay back debts incurred during earlier lockdowns. At that point, it was estimated that 7.43 million Americans were behind on rent, with 3.65 very likely or somewhat likely to be evicted by October.
The Supreme Court said in its opinion that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been overstepping its mandate, which the judges saw as an emergency authority focused on traditional public health measures rather than the relationship between tenants and landlords. The three liberal judges on the bench dissented. For an eviction moratorium to continue, it would have to be authorized by Congress, according to SCOTUS.