Days after the last rental evictions ban expired, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has instituted a new temporary moratorium for areas of the country experiencing substantial or high levels of COVID-19 spread.
All of Florida’s counties currently have substantial or high levels of COVID community transmission, according to the most recent CDC data.
Gainesville and Alachua County are both in the high community transmission category, meaning that they have 100 or more cases for every 100,000 people and/or lab test positivity rate for COVID that is 10 percent or higher.
As with the previous ban, which expired Saturday, the CDC says its new order is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID by allowing people to isolate or quarantine in separate homes and to prevent group living conditions or homelessness, which would increase the spread of the disease.
“The emergence of the delta variant has led to a rapid acceleration of community transmission in the United States, putting more Americans at increased risk, especially if they are unvaccinated,” said Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, in a press statement.
In issuing the new ban on rental evictions, the CDC said it was to give more time for rental assistance to reach tenants and to give time for more people to get vaccinations.
Alachua County has received two rounds of funding for rental assistance and has distributed more than $2.27 million in aid since the program began. Information about the county’s rental assistance and the eligibility requirements is available at a dedicated website for the program.
As with the previous ban, the new CDC moratorium applies to renters who meet income requirements, who have made efforts to seek rental assistance and make partial payments, who have lost work or faced income reductions, and who could be threatened with homelessness.
The former eviction moratorium faced multiple court challenges from landlords and real estate management interests. While the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the previous ban, the court indicated in its ruling that future eviction bans would need congressional approval.
It is uncertain whether the new ban will be challenged.