FHFA Extends Eviction Moratorium to September The moratorium had previously been set to expire at the end of June.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency extended the eviction moratorium until September for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-backed multifamily properties that had sought forbearance during the pandemic. The moratorium had previously been set to expire at the end of June.
“While COVID-19 cases are declining and many homeowners continue to emerge from forbearance, many renters, who are unable to benefit from rising home prices, have not financially recovered from the pandemic,” said Director Mark Calabria in prepared remarks. “To help those families still struggling to pay their rent and to help multifamily property owners maintain their properties, FHFA is extending the multifamily COVID-19 forbearance and tenant protections through the end of September 2021.”
Parsing Calabria’s remarks, one might extrapolate that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium, which is also set to expire at the end of June, could be next in line for an extension. The CDC has already extended the moratorium multiple times. In addition, renters’ assistance has barely begun to be distributed by state agencies, which could prompt the Biden Administration to extend it again.
Last month, federal judge Dabney Friedrich of the US District Court for the District of Columbia struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium on evictions. The judge ruled that the administration had exceeded its authority with the moratorium through its use of the Public Health Service Act of 1944. But last week the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to leave a federal prohibition on evictions intact.
The appeals court said it was leaving the moratorium in place because the Biden Administration, which had appealed the ruling, would likely prevail in its appeal. The issue may now go before the Supreme Court. With all of the uncertainty around eviction moratoriums, landlords may not want to start eviction proceedings even though the moratorium is set to expire at the end of June. “I am advising my clients that they need to still be in a holding pattern if the sole basis for an eviction is failure to pay rent,” Bonnie Y. Hochman Rothell, partner, and chair of the Litigation practice at Morris, Manning & Martin LLP, told GlobeSt.com in an earlier interview.
Rothell says that even in those jurisdictions where the court has overturned the CDC’s authority to issue the moratorium, there have been some stays already put in place by appellate courts to stem a floodgate of evictions while they are reviewing the issue. Also, many jurisdictions have local ordinances preventing evictions for a period of time. “You have to look at it from a state-by-state basis,” Rothell says. “Even if the CDC moratorium is no longer in effect, there could be a local jurisdiction that would still prevent an eviction.”