Federal Judge Overturns the CDC Eviction Moratorium

On May 5, 2021, D.C. District Judge Dabney Friedrich vacated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) federal eviction moratorium, which was set to expire on June 30, 2021. The federal judge ruled that the Public Health Service Act did not give the CDC the legal authority to impose the moratorium. However, the Department of Justice immediately appealed the decision vacating the CDC moratorium and the judge granted a temporary stay of the decision pending the appeal.

This means that the federal eviction moratorium currently remains in effect as of Thursday, May 6, 2021.

An estimated 40 million Americans were facing eviction during the pandemic, according to a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The CDC moratorium protected millions of renters at risk of losing their homes, but it has faced several legal challenges. Some courts have ruled that the CDC has the authority to issue the order and rejected efforts to stop the ban, while others have ruled in favor of landlords. While the ruling does not affect state or local eviction moratoriums, Massachusetts' eviction moratorium ended on October 17, 2020.

The Baker-Polito Administration, MassHousing, Citizens’ Housing & Planning Association (CHAPA), and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Organizations (MACDC) created a five-point Eviction Diversion Pledge, which solidified a commitment from Massachusetts property owners and operators to work with tenants facing financial difficulties because of the pandemic and supporting housing stability during the ongoing fight against the spread of COVID-19. The pledge originally asked for a commitment through March 31st, 2021, with 73 property owners committed, representing 141,792 homes across the Commonwealth. 

"CHAPA is disappointed with yesterday's news of the overturned federal eviction moratorium. We applaud the Biden Administration for immediately appealing this ruling to protect renters and our nation's public health," said Rachel Heller, CEO of CHAPA. "Regardless of the status of this federal case, we call on all Massachusetts landlords and property owners to recommit to the Eviction Diversion Pledge, continue to abide by the eviction moratorium, and proactively work with residents to help them access all available emergency rental assistance so they can stay in their homes."

If you signed the previous Pledge, please sign up again through this new form so we can confirm your extended commitment through June.

If you own or manage rental housing, please sign this Pledge to work with tenants who have fallen behind on rent. The Pledge includes helping renters access rental assistance, complete the necessary paperwork to benefit from the national eviction moratorium (regardless of its status in federal court cases), create payment plans, and other measures to help residents stay in their homes. This pledge is for property owners of any size and requires a commitment to these tenets through June 2021.

More details on each tenet of the Pledge can be found on the Google Form.

As of June 1, fourteen property owners committed to the Pledge through June 30, representing 3,739 homes across the Commonwealth. The property owners include:

Ace Tayloe
B'nai B'rith Housing
Capstone Communities LLC
Caritas Communities
Erik Nottleson
Fenway Community Development Corporation
FHRC Management Corporation
Hebrew SeniorLife
Jeff Hecht
Jonathon Feinberg
Leslie Belay
Standard Communities