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Trump Effects Eviction Moratorium To Protect 43 Million Renters and Homeowners through End of 2020

Sept. 2, 2020 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump has managed to do what no public official did during the years of mass foreclosure waves, 2006-08—enact a moratorium on both foreclosures of homeowners and evictions of tenants through the end of 2020. The orders flowing from his Aug. 8 Executive Order—one of several which looked very difficult to enforce at the time—have held off the threat of eviction for more than 40 million renters. This, by the President who, according to his furious critics, “doesn’t care” and “has done nothing” about the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, on Aug. 28, the Federal Housing Finance Authority (which controls Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and the FHA announced an extension to Dec. 31 of forbearance on mortgages they insure—this covered about 3 million of the 4 million homeowners in danger of foreclosure; and where they owned multi-family dwellings, extended forbearance for their tenants as well.

Then, following up a part of the Aug. 8 Executive Order which directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate whether temporarily halting evictions would help stem the spread of COVID-19, yesterday the CDC issued a nationwide order halting evictions through the end of this year. The New York Times, The Hill and other media quoted from the CDC order which cited the danger that evicted tenants could have to move into “congregated housing situations,” thus increasing spread of the virus.

Those who make no more than $99,000 a year, or $198,000 a couple, will qualify for the program which will affect about 43 million renters—far more than the 12.3 million who benefitted from the CARES Act. The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that normally this CDC quarantine law, the 1944 Public Health Service Act, would only apply to ports or across state lines, but yesterday’s order cites a section of the law that allows for federal intervention in cases where the CDC Director determines that the local government’s efforts are inadequate to prevent the spread of disease from one state to another.

White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern said yesterday that President Trump “is committed to helping hard-working Americans stay in their homes and combat the coronavirus.” Using the CDC to get this urgent policy implemented is another sign of President Trump’s insightful use of presidential powers for the welfare of the population.

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