Supreme Court blocks Biden administration's eviction ban
The Supreme Court has ruled that evictions can resume across the country, blocking President Joe Biden's administration from enforcing a temporary ban.
Last night in a 6 to 3 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that only Congress could authorize an extension to the eviction moratorium.
Earlier this month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a new eviction moratorium that would expire on Oct. 3, and applies to parts of the country where there's a high or substantial transmission of COVID-19, which the Supreme Court said was "exceeding their authority" in last night's ruling.
While landlords have been calling for evictions to resume throughout the pandemic, housing advocates have been pushing to have the eviction moratorium extended through June next year.
Housing advocates say the Emergency Rental Assistance Program is broken, and only about 5% of the money allocated to the program has been distributed to renters in need. They are calling for evictions to be paused until the money is distributed.
Jamell Henderson, an organizer for New York Communities for Change, says, "It's very heartbreaking to say that we may have to brace for impact."
He is concerned that thousands of New Yorkers who have been trying to make ends meet will be forced onto the streets because the money from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has not been properly dispersed.
"Many New Yorkers have not received the status or support because it is so back logged, and the money has yet to be released," Henderson says. "It's bad for both landlords and tenants that this money has not gone out, and that really is the solution to all of this."
Gov. Kathy Hochul released a statement saying she is "very disappointed in the Supreme Court's appalling an insensitive ruling that eliminates a key line of defense for tenants facing housing insecurity during the ongoing pandemic," and that the state is exploring other options to further protect New Yorkers from evictions.
"It is critical that New Yorkers know that anyone who applies to the rent relief program will automatically be protected from eviction while their application is pending," Hochul says. "More than $800 million has already been already disbursed or is now ready for landlords to accept on behalf of their tenants."
There is still more than $1 billion available for relief and resources through community organizations to help New Yorkers apply, receive eviction protection, and pay their rent, according to the governor.
The governor of California has already tweeted that this news will not impact renters in California, where their state eviction moratorium remains in effect.
New York's eviction moratorium is scheduled to end on Aug. 31.
Anyone who wants to apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program can do so on the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance's website.