WASHINGTON – Tuesday, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), and Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) are leading a group of 41 lawmakers in sending a letter to President Biden and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky urging them to extend and strengthen the federal CDC eviction moratorium beyond its current expiration date of Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
“Without further action, in just eight days, the CDC moratorium will expire, and millions of renters will once again face the threat of eviction. Evictions take lives and push households deeper into poverty, impacting everything from health outcomes to educational attainment,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. “As workers and families across the country are just beginning to recoup from the trauma and economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take all necessary action to protect them from becoming unhoused during this vulnerable time.”
The eviction crisis is a matter of public health, racial, and economic justice. According to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, Black, Latino, Asian, and Indigenous households are more likely to report being behind on their rental payments. Additionally, communities with lower vaccination rates and higher COVID-19 cases tend to be those at a heightened risk for eviction. Allowing the moratorium to expire would both exacerbate the eviction crisis disproportionately impacting communities of color and potentially lead to an increase in the spread of, and deaths from, COVID-19.
“The Biden Administration must aid those facing eviction by extending and significantly strengthening the current CDC moratorium to ensure the protections are automatic, self-executing, and that tenants are not expected to navigate a myriad of overly burdensome eligibility requirements in order to safely remain in their homes,” the lawmakers said. “The impact of the federal moratorium cannot be overstated.”
This letter is co-signed by: Reps. Ritchie Torres, Nydia M. Velazquez, Marie Newman, Karen Bass, Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia, Andre Carson, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Barbara Lee, Donald S. Beyer Jr., Jan Schakowsky, Ted W. Lieu, Henry C. Johnson Jr., Carolyn B. Maloney, James P. McGovern, Alan Lowenthal, Jamaal Bowman, Betty McCollum, Adriano Espaillat, Frederica Wilson, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Brenda Lawrence, Bobby Rush, Rashida Tlaib, Earl Blumenauer, Kweisi Mfume, Rick Larsen, Mark Pocan, Grace Meng, Jim Cooper, Veronica Escobar, Diana DeGette, Raul Grijalva, Gregory Meeks, Ruben Gallego, Ro Khanna, Jim Himes, Danny Davis, Jerrold Nadler and Ilhan Omar.
In January 2021, Reps. Pressley and Gomez led a letter to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris urging them to use executive action to extend and strengthen the national eviction moratorium for the duration of the pandemic.
From the onset of the pandemic, Congresswoman Pressley has fought tirelessly to provide robust housing protections for families in Massachusetts and across the nation.
- On March 18, 2020, Reps. Pressley, Katie Porter (D-CA) and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) wrote to HUD calling for a moratorium on evicting renters during the coronavirus pandemic.
- On March 19, 2020, Rep. Pressley, along with progressive lawmakers and organizations, introduced the Housing is a Human Right Act to authorize more than $200 billion in federal spending over 10 years for crucial housing infrastructure and reduce homelessness.
- On March 23, 2020, Reps. Pressley and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) introduced the Public Health Emergency Shelter Act of 2020, legislation to provide critical funding to states and local governments responding to the needs of families and individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis. This legislation was included and passed through the HEROES Act and H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020.
- On April 10, 2020, Rep. Pressley urged Congressional leadership to prioritize recurring monthly cash payments to those most at-risk during the COVID-19 crisis. This funding would allow people to cover all their bills, including rent.
- On April 17, 2020, Reps. Pressley, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and colleagues introduce the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, a bill to institute a nationwide cancellation of rents and home mortgage payments through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
- On May 11, 2020, Reps. Tlaib, and Joe Neguse (D-CO) urge House and Senate leadership to include $11.5 billion in funding for Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) in the next relief package to aid the nation’s homeless population who are experiencing heightened vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- On July 24, 2020, in a Financial Services Committee hearing, Rep. Pressley discussed the unprecedented financial cliff facing millions of renters and homeowners, the economic consequences of millions losing their homes, including the ability to return to work, and why funding for legal representation is so critical.
- On July 28, 2020, Rep. Pressley, Rep. DeLauro and Sen. Harris introduced the Housing Emergencies Lifeline Program (HELP) Act to provide much-needed, layered assistance to those facing eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- On May 18, 2021, Reps. Bush and Pressley sent a letter to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calling on the CDC to strengthen and extend the federal moratorium on evictions, ensuring families can remain safely in their homes for the duration of the COVID-19 global health emergency.
- In June 2021, Congresswoman Pressley, along with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), re-introduced the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, a bill to institute a nationwide cancellation of rents and home mortgage payments through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.