A federal public health agency faces a legal challenge to its latest move to let residents occupy properties without paying.
The Alabama and Georgia Association of Realtors (NAR) is suing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for announcing a new federal eviction moratorium until at least Oct. 3.
NAR accused CDC of politicizing its prohibition on landlords evicting residents, in parts of the nation where “substantial and high levels” of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus infections have been reported for 60 days. The safety net is expected to cover about 90 percent of tenants across the nation.
“[CDC declared the moratorium] for nakedly political reasons–to ease the political pressure, shift the blame to the courts for ending the moratorium, and use litigation delays to achieve a policy objective,” the association said according to Reuters.
The Alabama and Georgia associations of REALTORS® filed an emergency motion asking to enforce the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent order that the CDC could not extend the moratorium without new legislation. https://t.co/oH5hEhOXcL— National Association of REALTORS® (@nardotrealtor) August 5, 2021
NAR also filed an emergency motion that asks U.S. Columbia District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich to enforce the Supreme Court’s recent order, which bars the CDC from extending its moratorium without new legislation.
The association revealed at least half of housing providers are family operators. If they cannot collect outstanding rent, they will be unable to meet ongoing expenses and maintain properties. This could hinder national economic growth.
Although NAR understands the importance of not forcing residents onto the street for failing to meet financial obligations, it stressed “rental assistance” is already available across the United States. Since the government already covers up to 1.5 years of overdue and upcoming expenses, there is no need to prohibit evicting those who do not seek assistance.
“We should direct our energy toward the swift implementation of rental assistance,” NAR President Charlie Oppler said in a statement. “We do not need more uncertainty for tenants or housing providers.”
The remarks came after CDC confirmed it would further extend the federal moratorium on evictions. The decision sparked controversy over the level of authority Joe Biden’s administration gave the agency.
Progressives had pressured President Biden to extend the eviction moratorium because it would prevent nearly 3.6 million Americans from becoming homeless during the CCP virus crisis. However, the administration blamed a Supreme Court order that barred prolonging evictions.
A group of lawyers advising NAR claims the federal agency without executive authority cannot lawfully declare a moratorium. Such a measure ultimately requires amending existing legislation. This raises questions over how the CDC can have the same level of authority as the president.
Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson believes the agency could have abused its power through declaring the moratorium. The U.S. Constitution does not empower the CDC to create laws, yet director Rochelle Walensky still made decisions that were clearly beyond her usual duties.
“CDC gathers information about diseases and then releases guidance about those diseases to the country,” Carlson said in an opinion article. “CDC does not make laws in this country, it is not allowed to. Under the U.S. Constitution making laws is the exclusive role of Congress.”
The presenter speculates the extended moratorium could be interpreted as the end of truly “private property.”
“You thought you owned your home, not anymore–Rochelle Walensky does,” he said. “She will decide who can live there, under what circumstance, and for how long.”