Cobb County covered by eviction moratorium extension

coronavirus image -- a white sphere with red corona spikes emanating outwardThis illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. (public domain image)

At a current 14-day case rate of 347 cases per 100,000 population, Cobb has more than three times the threshold of high community transmission required to be covered by the most recent eviction moratorium.

The recent rise in COVID cases in Cobb has been steep and striking. Dr. Janet Memark, the District Health Director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health sounded a warning at the July 13 meeting of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, when cases reached 75 per 100,000. Now, three weeks later, we have a rate nearly five times that high.

The Center for Disease Control extended the temporary moratorium on evictions in areas that are experiencing high and increasing transmission of COVID-19.

The order remains in effect until October 3, 2021, and is signed by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court indicated it would block eviction bans not created by Congress, legal challenges are likely.

The document detailing the terms states that the “covered” person is required to have “used best efforts to obtain all available governmental assistance for rent or housing,” and that their income can be no more than $99,000 ($198,000 if filing jointly).

The press release from the CDC stated:

CDC is issuing a new order temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission in order to respond to recent, unexpected developments in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise of the Delta variant. It is intended to target specific areas of the country where cases are rapidly increasing, which likely would be exacerbated by mass evictions.

In the document describing the specifics of the eviction ban, the CDC wrote:

The U.S. Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) is issuing a new order temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission in order to respond to recent, unexpected developments in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise of the Delta variant. It is intended to target specific areas of the country where cases are rapidly increasing, which likely would be exacerbated by mass evictions. Accordingly, subject to the limitations under “Applicability,” a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any county or U.S. territory while the county or territory is experiencing substantial or high levels of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

When asked by the Courier to comment on the CDC’s moratorium, Monica DeLancy, Cobb County renter’s rights activist and the founder and director of We Thrive in Riverside Renters Association wrote in an email:

Although we are grateful for the extension, we must remember that the  bigger picture with the housing crisis is that there were many families being evicted from homes prior to the pandemic. People are not making the wages that is needed to maintain rents that are constantly rising.

A person that was suffering before the pandemic will still suffer even after the assistance is given to them because they have not achieved a job that pays more than $42,000 a year. That is the salary a person needs in order to maintain housing.  We must ensure that there is a plan to accommodate housing options for our essential workers, disabled residents, one income households and our households who receive government subsidies

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