The Biden administration announced Monday morning that the moratorium on evictions implemented to protect renters in danger of becoming unhoused during the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended through the end of June.
"The moratorium that was scheduled to expire on March 31, 2021 is now extended through June 30, 2021," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.
Eric Hallett, a housing advocate with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, said Wednesday, before the extension had been announced, that the moratorium was a lifesaver for renters.
"We have thousands of family right now in Tulsa County who have been protected by the CDC moratorium on evictions since late August," Hallett said during a livestreamed panel discussion hosted by nonprofit news organization The Frontier.
Jeff Jaynes, executive director of Tulsa's Restore Hope Ministries, agreed.
"Studies have shown that the eviction moratorium has saved lives," Jaynes said. "That was the goal of it, certainly, from the CDC's perspective, but in the immediate aftermath of the impact COVID was making, it was [also] keeping people out of large courtrooms that are usually packed with people."
"The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the nation’s public health," Walensky said. "Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19."