Coronavirus | Democrats to introduce new moratorium after criticism

Coronavirus | Democrats to introduce new moratorium after criticism

Chief Democrats will introduce a new moratorium on Tuesday after criticism from top housing advocates who blamed the administration for letting the previous protections lapse.

The moratorium applies to counties with high rates of coronavirus infections, according to two people familiar with the matter. The move shows the extent to which the spread of the delta variant of coronavirus has upended the administration's agenda.

The new moratorium will last until Oct. 3 and cover about 80% of U.S. counties and 90% of renters, one of the people said.

Additional details of the plan weren't immediately clear. Spokespersons for the Obama White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention didn't immediately comment. People in the matter have asked not to be identified before the announcement.

The Biden White House faced days of harsh criticism from its own party for the lapse in the eviction moratorium on 31 July. Advocates said millions of Americans could potentially be forced from their homes as Covid - 19 cases surged.

The White House spent days trying to explain the legal reasoning behind an initial CDC decision that it couldn't issue another extension and sent top officials to Capitol Hill, including Vice President Janet Yellen and Treasury Secretary Kamala Harris, to answer lawmakers' questions.

Yellen faced considerable anger on Tuesday from House Democrats, who demanded immediate action by the administration to extend the ban on evictions, according to multiple people who participated in the call.

Yellen stressed that the administration was focused on getting states and municipalities to less quickly distribute some $47 billion of rental assistance Congress has already approved.