Marc H. Morial President and CEO National Urban League
Recently, the National Urban League and other civil rights organizations sent a letter to Congress urging members to take immediate action to extend the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) federal moratorium on evictions.
In a controversial decision, the Supreme Court overturned the CDC’s eviction moratorium, putting an estimated 6 to 17 million Americans at risk of losing their homes. With Delta variant cases on the rise and state and local government programs struggling to disperse emergency rental assistance funding, Congressional action to extend the CDC’s eviction moratorium is necessary to ensure that families are protected from the threat of eviction during this unprecedented public health and economic crisis.
Without immediate action, struggling families may lose access to the very housing protections necessary to stem the spread of new COVID-19 infections. In nearly every metropolitan city in the U.S., Black and Latinx families constitute a disproportionate number of renters who would be at risk of eviction. To date, the pandemic has severely harmed the economic security of households in communities of color nationwide, many of whom worked in industries hardest hit by the Pandemic and who did not have the savings to weather long periods of unemployment and underemployment. These families also disproportionately work in front-line jobs deemed “essential” during the pandemic, putting them at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status and needing the security of a home in which to quarantine and recover.
Moreover, our nation’s pandemic-related rental crisis is not an indefinite problem. Congress has already authorized billions for rental assistance to help renters and landlords. While the allocation of this assistance has been slow at the state and local level, the resources are coming, and the delay is not the fault of families in need.
Mass evictions would cause irreparable, generational financial and emotional harm to families, including millions of children, and would negatively impact our broader society and economy at a time when we are all at our most vulnerable. It is imperative that Congress extends this eviction moratorium and ensures Americans remain in their homes.
Other organizations that signed onto this letter include:
National Fair Housing Alliance
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights
National Partnership for Women and Families
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law