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Extended CDC Eviction Moratorium for Specified Areas of Heightened Levels of COVID-19

Authored By: PALawHELP.org
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Information

The U.S. Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) has issued a new order temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission of COVID-19. This Order was issued 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.

This Order is effective on August 3, 2021 and will remain in effect through October 3, 2021, but can be revised or extended based on the changing public health landscape.
 

Where Does It Apply

This Order applies in U.S. counties experiencing "substantial" and "high" levels of community transmission levels of COVID-19 as defined by CDC, as of August 3, 2021. When the Order was entered on August 3, 2021, residents in 29 counties in Pennsylvania qualified for protection under the Order.

You can check to see if your county is experiencing a heightened level of transmission and is covered under this order using the tool at:
https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view

Changes in County Eligibility

If a U.S. county that is not covered by this Order as of August 3, 2021 later experiences substantial or high levels of community transmission while the Order is in effect, then that county will become subject to this Order as of the date the county begins experiencing substantial or high levels of community transmission.

If a U.S. county that is covered by this Order no longer experiences substantial or high levels of community transmission for 14 consecutive days, then the Order will no longer apply in that county, unless and until the county again experiences substantial or high levels of community transmission while this Order is in effect.
 

Who Does the Order Apply To?

In addition to residing in a county with heightened levels of community transmission of COVID-19, individuals must meet all the requirements listed below to be a "Covered person" qualifying for protection under this Order:

  1. The individual has used best efforts to obtain all available governmental assistance for rent or housing;
     
  2. The individual either: 
    • earned no more than $99,000 (or $198,000 if filing jointly) in Calendar Year 2020 or expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2021 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), 
    • was not required to report any income in 2020 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, OR
    • received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check).
  3. The individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a layoff, or extraordinary8 out-of-pocket medical expenses;
     
  4. The individual is using best efforts to make timely partial rent payments that are as close to the full rent payment as the individual's circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; AND
     
  5. Eviction would likely render the individual homeless—or force the individual to move into and reside in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting—because the individual has no other available housing options;
     

Signed Declaration

To qualify for the protections of this Order, a tenant, lessee, or resident of a residential property must provide a completed and signed copy of a declaration with the elements listed in the definition of “Covered person” to their landlord, owner of the residential property where they live, or other person who has a right to have them evicted or removed from where they live.

To assist tenants and landlords, the CDC created a standardized declaration form that can be downloaded here:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-eviction-declaration.html

The use of the standardized declaration form is easy and is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, although tenants, lessees, and residents of residential property are not obligated to use the CDC form. Any written document that an eligible tenant, lessee, or resident of residential property presents to their landlord will comply with this Order, as long as it contains ALL the required elements of “Covered person” as described in the CDC Order.

In addition, tenants, lessees, and residents of residential property are allowed to declare in writing that they meet the elements of “Covered person” in other languages.

As long as the information in a previously signed declaration submitted under a previous order remains truthful and accurate, covered persons do not need to submit a new declaration under the new Order.

It is recommended that each resident of a residential property coverd by this Order provide a completed and signed copy of the declaration form to their landlord, owner of the residential property where they live, or other person who has a right to have them evicted or removed from where they live.
 

Renter Obligations Under the Order

This Order is a temporary eviction moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. This Order does not relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make a housing payment, or comply with any other obligation that the individual may have under a tenancy, lease, or similar contract.

Nothing in this Order precludes the charging or collecting of fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payment on a timely basis, under the terms of any applicable contract.

Also, nothing in this Order precludes evictions based on the following actions of a tenant, lessee, or resident: 

  1. Engaging in criminal activity while on the premises; 
  2. Threatening the health or safety of other residents;
  3. Damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property; 
  4. Violating any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation relating to health and safety; or 
  5. Violating any other contractual obligation, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment (including non-payment or late payment of fees, penalties, or interest).
     

CDC Order: www.cdc.gov

CDC Declaration Form: www.cdc.gov

COVID Data Tracker- County View (Eligible Counties): covid.cdc.gov