Despite federal ban, renters still being evicted amid virus

Despite federal ban, renters still being evicted amid virus

BOSTON (AP) — A nationwide eviction ban was supposed to protect tenants like Tawanda Mormon, who was forced out of her two-bedroom apartment last month in Cleveland.

The 46-year-old, who was hospitalized in August for the coronavirus and can’t work due to mental health issues, said she fell behind on her $500-a-month rent because she needed the money to pay for food. When she was evicted in October, Mormon said she was unaware of President Donald Trump’s directive, implemented in September by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that broadly prevents evictions through the end of 2020.

“It was difficult. I had to leave all my stuff,” said Mormon, who has been staying with friends and relatives since her eviction. “I don’t have no furniture, no nothing.”

With most state and local eviction bans expired, the nationwide directive was seen as the best hope to prevent more than 23 million renters from being evicted amid a stalemate in Congress over tens of billions of dollars in rental assistance. It was also billed as a way to fight the coronavirus, with studies showing evictions can spread the virus and lead to an increase in infections.

The CDC order has averted a wave of evictions, housing advocates said, but tenants are increasingly falling through the cracks.

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FILE – Housing activists erect a sign in front of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s house, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in Swampscott, Mass. Renters are still being evicted during the coronavirus pandemic despite a federal order that is supposed to keep them in their homes. The nationwide eviction ban went into effect Sept. 4 and was supposed to replace many state and local bans that had expired. But tenant advocates said there are still people unaware of the directive implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that broadly prevents evictions for nonpayment of rent through the end of 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, file)

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