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More than 250,000 Georgia renters have secured a few more weeks of protection from potential displacement, after the Biden Administration on Tuesday enacted an eviction moratorium for communities severely afflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies most of Georgia — and all metro Atlanta counties — as at high risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The issuance of a new federal eviction ban will shield most of the 251,700 Georgia renters threatened with eviction until Oct. 3, according to the CDC order.
Nearly 75,000 evictions have been filed in just five metro Atlanta counties, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.
In the few days after the ban lapsed, some public leaders in metro Atlanta worked quickly to install protections for renters in their respective precincts.
DeKalb County Judge Asha Jackson effected a countywide halt on eviction proceedings just hours after the federal order was lifted. Fulton County officials, a spokeswoman told Atlanta Civic Circle on Monday, were looking into doing the same thing.
Biden’s controversial move — which critics have decried as an overstep of his executive powers — comes as a saving grace just days after the CDC’s long-running eviction moratorium expired.
Some landlord organizations have taken issue with the freezes, even suing the government, saying the bans have stunted business and inhibited the landlords’ ability to pay mortgages, according to CNBC.
The many federally funded eviction prevention initiatives, however, both provide renters with money to pay back their landlords and pay landlords who have been struggling during the public health and economic crisis.
The new eviction moratorium will likely be challenged in court, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Despite the local and federal moratoria, renters will still be charged with paying overdue rent once these measures expire.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that the moratorium does not automatically protect renters; they must file paperwork with the CDC to show that their housing situation was jeopardized by the pandemic.
While the moratorium is aimed at keeping renters housed, the main thrust of the initiative is to keep the spread of the virus at bay, meaning, as COVID-19 cases — hopefully — decline, renters across the country will be on the hook for back rent.
Housing experts maintain that the country will witness a “tsunami” of evictions once the government protections expire again.
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