The Trump administration announced a nationwide moratorium on evictions for renters who are struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic. The order is being enforced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will be in effect until the end of the year. The order expands protections put in place in March, which only applied to people living in federally subsidized housing.
The CDC said the temporary eviction ban is necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19, which "presents a historic threat to public health."
To qualify for the eviction protections, renters must declare under the penalty of perjury that they make less than $99,000 per year, or $198,000 if they file their taxes jointly, have made efforts to obtain government assistance, have suffered a "substantial" loss of income, and have no other housing options.
Landlords who defy the order and evict protected tenants face hefty fines and even jail time. An individual landlord could be hit with a maximum fine of $200,000 and face up to one year in jail. An organization that evicts tenants could be fined up to $500,000 per violation.
Renters will still be responsible for the missed payments and can still be evicted for other reasons.
"President Trump is committed to helping hard-working Americans stay in their homes and combating the spread of the coronavirus," said Brian Morgenstern, deputy White House press secretary.
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