President's Executive Action Appears to Allow New Eviction Moratorium and Financial Assistance for Housing

 

After talks on a new COVID-19 relief package stalled in Congress, President Trump signed an executive order on August 8, 2020, which would allow a new eviction moratorium to be put in place. The executive order does not extend the previous CARES Act moratorium on evictions that ended in July. Rather, it gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the ability to "consider measures temporarily halting residential evictions of any tenants for failure to pay rent" if they deem those measures to be "reasonably necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19."

The executive action also allows the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to allocate currently available Federal funds for "temporary financial assistance to renters and homeowners" and gives power to HUD to provide "assistance to public housing authorities, affordable housing owners, landlords, and recipients of Federal grant funds." 

No details were provided on the process for allocating or receiving any aid and there is no timeline for when a new eviction moratorium would be put in place or for how long it would be extended. 

The President’s authority to establish a national eviction moratorium without congressional action is currently being questioned and is expected to be challenged in court by landlord associations.

(More information will be provided on CHAPA's COVID-19 Affordable Housing Updates as this story develops.)