Will the CDC’s national eviction moratorium apply to Floridians

September 29, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national eviction moratorium left Florida housing experts scratching their heads. Will it apply to Florida, where there’s already a moratorium in place? They weren’t sure.

“The bottom line is really we don’t know what effect it’s going to have,” said Jamos “Jay” Mobley, senior housing attorney at Orange County’s Legal Aid Society, who’s been helping low-income residents fight eviction notices.

It depends on which moratorium provides more protection, but figuring that out isn’t so easy. And who decides if the CDC’s order supersedes Florida’s — the governor, the state supreme court or the federal government — is unclear.

“There are arguments on both side as to which one is stronger,” said Donald Myers Jr., chief judge over Orange and Osceola courts.

On the one hand, the CDC order would apply to nearly all renters, whereas under Florida’s moratorium only people who can prove in court that they’ve been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are protected. The CDC order runs through the end of the year; Florida’s was just recently extended to Oct. 1.

For the time being, Myers said judges will have to evaluate cases individually. There’s also the chance Gov. Ron DeSantis could throw his support behind the CDC order or decide that Florida’s is better, but the governor has not addressed it. Experts are also banking on landlord and property management associations to challenge whether the CDC order is legal.

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