That’s how many eviction filings the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s original eviction moratorium prevented in 11 months, according to a recent estimate, showing the impact of a protection that was struck down by the Supreme Court Thursday.
The original ban, which was nationwide, began in September 2020 and expired July 31, 2021. A new ban went into effect three days later, on Aug. 3, but applied only in counties the CDC judged to have substantial spread of COVID-19. Realtors and other groups representing property owners sued, arguing that the CDC had overstepped its authority, and the Supreme Court agreed, striking down the new ban.
Researchers at the Eviction Lab at Princeton University estimated in a report last week that the original ban prevented 1.55 million evictions from the time it began until it expired in July. They arrived at that number by comparing eviction trends in cities that adopted their own eviction protections and those that didn’t, and analyzing how the statistics changed when the nationwide ban went into effect. The researchers estimated that overall, the federal ban plus state and local eviction protections prevented 2.45 million evictions since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
The CDC initially put the nationwide ban in place on grounds that mass evictions would worsen the spread of COVID-19. Renters who are struggling financially, as well as landlords whose tenants have been unable to pay rent amid the pandemic’s economic fallout, can still turn to a federal relief program that pays rental and utility arrears.
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