US extends eviction moratorium until end of year

WASHINGTON • The US government on Tuesday announced it will extend until the end of the year a moratorium on the eviction of tenants unable to meet their rent payments and on foreclosures of homeowners who cannot pay their mortgages because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“People struggling to pay their rent due to the coronavirus will not have to worry about being evicted and risk further spreading…of or exposure to the virus due to economic hardships,” said White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern.

The measure aims to protect tens of millions of people at risk of losing their homes because of the economic collapse triggered by the pandemic, and potentially finding themselves forced onto the streets or into collective housing, government officials said.

“It is essential during this pandemics that Americans have an effective place to quarantine, isolate and socially distance,” one senior administration official said.

In March, Congress passed a sweeping emergency aid package to help families and businesses, but a new packages has been blocked as negotiations between the White House and the Democrats who control the lower house stalled.

Republican President Donald Trump in August signed an executive order to help those Americans hit by unemployment and threatened with eviction because of the crisis.

US states have also put in place temporary protective systems for tenants who cannot make rent or owners who cannot pay their mortgages.

Some 40 million Americans are at risk of being evicted in the coming months, the Aspen Institute think tank warned in August. — AFP