New, Last-Minute CDC Eviction Ban Includes New York Counties

The nationwide eviction moratorium had lapsed on Saturday, July 31. On Tuesday, Aug. 3, the CDC issued a new, more limited freeze that remains in effect for two months, until Oct. 3.

What you need to know: The CDC issued the new order temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission in order to respond to recent, unexpected developments in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise of the Delta variant. It is intended to target specific areas of the country where cases are rapidly increasing, which likely would be exacerbated by mass evictions.

The COVID-19 Integrated County View provided by the CDC's COVID Data Tracker provides information on a county's level of community spread. As of Aug. 1, the new ban covers 80 percent of counties nationwide experiencing high or substantial community spread. But eviction can continue in counties experiencing "moderate" spread.

According to CDC's data, Queens and Bronx counties are classified as having substantial spread. Richmond, New York, and Kings counties are classified as experiencing a high level of community transmission.

The backdrop: The newly issued eviction ban comes after progressives in the House protested the Biden administration’s refusal to renew the original eviction moratorium. The administration argued it would not be able to renew the moratorium without congressional authorization because of a recent Supreme Court ruling on the matter. The ruling blocked the CDC from extending its past moratorium beyond the end of July. And a last-minute effort by Congress to extend the ban failed.

President Biden in remarks at the White House on Tuesday acknowledged that the new moratorium will likely be challenged in court. “But at a minimum by the time it gets litigated, it will probably give some additional time while we’re getting that $45 billion out to people who are in fact behind on the rent and don’t have the money,” Biden said, referring to rental relief programs that were approved by Congress earlier this year but have been experiencing slow rollouts in states, including New York.