Houston, we have a problem! In fact, not only in Houston but in cities across the country we have a problem. That problem is the fact that many landlords are not being able to collect rent on their properties. Oftentimes when people think of landlords they think of large corporations that own many rental units spread across large apartment buildings. While these do exist, the majority of landlords in this country are “mom and pop” investors that may only own one or a few rental units.
Just this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it is extending (yet again) the eviction moratorium. This time, it is being extended through October 3, 2021. Interestingly, The Supreme Court recently ruled that the CDC does not have the right to institute a nationwide eviction moratorium. In fact, only Congress can do that. So how is this happening? The Biden Administration is also supporting this unconstitutional behavior. In simple terms, this act is against the law. Just ask The Supreme Court!
Who is The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?
According to the CDC’s mission statement on its website, it states the following:
“CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.”
Of note, there is no mention on this mission statement indicating that the CDC’s responsibilities would include housing decisions? In fact, The CDC enforcing policies on housing would be equivalent to The U.S. government’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) making rulings on the approval of medicines. Of course, we all know that decisions on medication approvals is the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The middle class is getting squeezed…again
Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the middle class getting squeezed yet again by this administration. To add insult to injury, there have even been numerous reports of landlords being unable to collect their rightfully due rents while their tenants have purchased luxury items such as new vehicles and boats. With many of these properties having mortgage payments still due, there is no aid available to these landlords. In other words, these “mom and pop” landlords are left holding the rope. This is a complete tragedy and must be stopped.
The Alabama and Georgia state REALTOR® associations filed an emergency motion Wednesday night in federal court to block enforcement of the extension, which the CDC announced late Tuesday. We applaud these efforts and it is likely that other associations will follow suit. In addition, The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) released the following statement as well: “NAR has always advocated that the best solution for all parties is rental assistance paid directly to housing providers to cover the rent and utilities of any vulnerable tenants during the pandemic. No housing provider wants to evict a tenant and considers it only as a last resort.”
The biggest area of need in housing remains affordable rental housing for lower income Americans. Unfortunately, the actions by the CDC and this administration are only further hurting this segment of housing. In the past year, we have seen a record number of law enforcement officers leave their profession due to their lack of support in a high-risk job. Now with the CDC overstepping their authority and further extending the eviction moratorium, we will likely see more landlords opting to sell their properties instead. Many of these properties may even be sold to developers that will instead construct structures for uses other than affordable housing. We urge everyone to become educated on this topic and reach out to your local members of Congress. This is a real problem with no end in sight right now.
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