ATLANTA — The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking action now to block evictions.
The order goes further than the CARES Act moratorium, which expired at the end of July and bans evictions through the end of the year for people who have lost income due to COVID-19.
The CDC has the authority to enact the moratorium under an executive order from the president.
Channel 2′s Lauren Pozen learned that nationwide, it will cover more than 40 million renters -- but renters will still eventually have to pay up.
Pozen spoke to Marjy Stagmeier, the Chairman of the Board of Star-C Eviction Relief Fund. The non-profit is mission-based and helps families near the poverty line.
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“I am encouraging tenants out there, if you can at least make some payments at least in good faith, at least that helps the landlords keep the lights on as well,” Stagmeier said. “It basically delays the inevitable, which is if you can’t pay rent, your landlord will have the option to evict you if you can’t work it out with them.”
Pozen went over the 37-page order, which applies to renters who expect to earn less than $99,000 this year on their own, or less than $198,000 if filed jointly. Any renter who did not report income in 2019 or received a stimulus check would also be covered.
“There are a lot of hurdles,” Stagmeier said. ”It is not as easy as a tenant thinks. The burden of proof is on the tenant to prove they have a COVID hardship and they can’t pay rent, and if they don’t pay rent, they are going to become homeless.”
Like tenants, many landlords are in different situations as the pandemic continues.
Dianne Johnson said she made a decision from the start not to evict anyone who couldn’t pay rent.
“It was just not something that I would feel comfortable doing, and I didn’t want to do that,” Johnson said.
The order says landlords can be penalized if they violate the order.
Evictions for other reasons that aren’t dealing with rent are allowed to move forward.