Although these key topics have been our advocacy focus since the beginning of this year, circumstances in Washington force us to regularly reevaluate our priorities.
NAR was a national leader in the push to secure rental assistance funding when the pandemic began last March. Both tenants and housing providers scored a major victory when nearly $50 billion in rental assistance was appropriated this winter, but slow disbursement of these funds has prevented the program from fulfilling its purpose.
In recognizing the potential impact of countless housing providers being put out of business—on both tenants and the broader U.S. housing market—NAR has supported state and local REALTOR® groups in their legal challenges against the Centers for Disease Control’s ongoing eviction moratorium.
In a case heard before the D.C. District Court last month, the Alabama and Georgia Associations of REALTORS® argued that the federal government had unlawfully extended its authority by issuing its federal eviction moratorium. A few days later, housing providers from across the country secured a key win when the court ruled that Congress had never granted the CDC unlimited authority to regulate America’s economy during the pandemic. However, this decision was quickly appealed by the Department of Justice and a temporary stay was issued by the D Court, which means the eviction moratorium remains in place pending further litigation.
This is a complex, layered situation in which human lives are impacted. But the CDC’s overreach into the housing market has put millions of small property owners in danger of financial ruin. No business can survive while forgoing steady income for more than a year. And if mom-and-pop property owners find themselves in a position where they can no longer sustain their small businesses and properties, every tenant living there would be left without a proper home.
NAR has always maintained that the best solution for all parties was rental assistance, which would cover the rent, taxes, and utility bills for tenants struggling during the pandemic. With rental assistance secured, the economy strengthening, and unemployment rates falling, there is no need to continue a blanket, nationwide eviction ban. Now, our focus turns to the swift and full implementation of rental assistance funding as we aim to regain stability and normalcy in America’s housing market.
Housing providers should continue to the monitor the case, as the CDC’s eviction moratorium remains in effect nationwide based on the D.C. District Court’s temporary administrative stay. Please review the document NAR has prepared to educate members about these legal proceedings, and regular updates on this situation will be posted on nar.realtor as processes in the courts evolve.