Extension Of CDC Eviction Moratorium Met With Mixed Reaction

While advocates of the extension say it is needed assistance, some landlords say there needs to be more oversight.

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Attempting to provide housing security for millions around the country, the CDC announced Monday it has extended its national eviction moratorium.  With this, Connecticut renters facing financial difficulty continue to be covered by two layers of protection - one from the state and another from the CDC.

The national eviction moratorium will now extend at least another three months, until June 30. To ensure protection through the CDC declaration, people must first apply.

The application can be found on the CDC website, The Greater Hartford Legal Aid office or through a number of housing counseling agencies.

“The tenant has to review it carefully, has to sign it under penalty of perjury, Has to give it to the landlord,” said Nancy Hronek, an attorney with Greater Hartford Legal Aid.

There are various criteria for qualification, such as receiving a stimulus payment or showing proof of income decline.

“It’s a complicated process,” said Hronek. “It’s not as easy as it sounds and not an automatic moratorium”

Like the state’s protection, the CDC declaration offers renters who’ve suffered financial setback during the COVID-19 pandemic some flexibility.  Many landlords, however, say the protection needs to have more oversight.

Jason Lipman is the landlord of a two-family home. He says the moratorium prevented him from evicting a tenant, who stopped paying rent in 2019, before the pandemic began. Lipman says the tenant eventually left on his own in June but not before costing him $12,000.

“You feel like you have been robbed,” said Lipman. “They have effectively stolen your property that you need to pay for until this is over.”

Assistance for landlords could soon be on the way. Using money from the American Rescue Plan, UniteCT has been established to help landlords and renters. It will infuse $235 million into Connecticut’s Rental Housing sector to improve stability.

“I think that we need to give state and federal assistance and opportunity to work. An opportunity to be successful,” said Connecticut Fair Housing Center’s Fionnuala Darby-Hudgens.

Following Monday’s announcement from the CDC, President Biden’s office issued a statement that explained that several federal departments are coordinating efforts to get tenants and landlords the assistance they need.

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