CDC Issues Order Halting Rent Evictions for States and Territories Through Dec. 31

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued a sweeping order which halts through December 31 millions of residential renters from being evicted, a move the CDC says is aimed at combating the novel coronavirus. The expansive action covers all of the U.S.'s 43 million renters who fall in the purview of the order.

The halt on evictions also covers states and territories, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a copy of the order, seen here.

The order covers renters who are not expected to earn more than $99,000 in 2020, or $198,000 for persons who file jointly. If you received a stimulus check earlier this year or did not file in 2019, the order still applies to you, according to the CDC. Renters must also demonstrate that they have sought assistance to make rent payments, and must affirmatively declare that they are unable to meet rent payments because of hardships caused by Covid-19.

Additionally, renters must express that they would likely become homeless if they are evicted.

The Trump administration said renters could face jail time if they lie in the declarations. According to The New York Times, an administration official told reporters the order was not an invitation to stop paying rent and said renters should pay a portion of the rent if possible. Renters will still owe accrued rent and face penalties for failing to pay, the administration official told reporters, according to the Times.

The CDC order says renters could be evicted "for reasons other than not paying rent or making a housing payment."

In July, Americans owed more than $21.5 billion in past due rent, estimated global advisory firm Stout, Risius and Ross.

The last local action on rent by Governor Albert Bryan came on July 27, when he announced a 1-month moratorium, albeit with conditions. At the time, the extension was for tenants who were making a good-faith effort to pay their rent, and were less than 60 days behind in payments.

The federal halt covers the U.S. and all its territories.