CDC bans evictions through end of 2020 to curb spread of COVID-19. Will it stick?

September 8, 2020

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has banned evictions and foreclosures for the rest of the year, in an order issued this week, citing evictions as a health hazard during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawyers for people facing evictions expressed relief Wednesday but predicted the order will be challenged in court by housing property owners.

“This is unprecedented. We kind of expect litigation on it,” said Stephanie Johnson, senior attorney with Legal Services of North Florida. “It could fall apart.” Johnson said her organization is still evaluating the order. It remains to be seen whether the CDC’s authority over public health extends to authority over housing, she said. 

The CDC order says a moratorium on evictions will protect public health, while evictions in the millions would accelerate the transmission and mortality of coronavirus. It doesn’t address provisions to help landlords and lenders pay their own bills without collecting rent and mortgage payments.

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