Cleveland Housing Court Judge Mona Scott
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has once again extended a nationwide eviction moratorium that was set to expire on March 31. The new sunset date is June 30, 2021, and the Cleveland Housing Court has alerted the media that it will continue to accept the CDC's declaration as a bar to the local eviction process.
That means that though landlords can still file evictions, tenants who meet criteria established by the CDC can present the moratorium as an affirmative defense. These criteria include earning less than $99,000 annually and having made efforts to secure government assistance.
The CDC first implemented the moratorium in Sept. 2020 to fight the coronavirus. A moratorium, the CDC said, would help facilitate stay-at-home orders in states across the country and would be a protection against fiscal precarity caused by skyrocketing unemployment. Without intervention, the CDC said, the U.S. could have seen evictions and homelessness on a massive scale.
The moratorium was slated to expire at the end of 2020 but was extended to March 31. With new coronavirus variants emerging, the CDC saw fit to extend it once again.
“The recent extension of the CDC Moratorium on Evictions is critical to the welfare of our city, region and nation," said Cleveland Housing Court judge W. Moná Scott, in a statement to Scene. "Helping citizens shelter in place to avoid crowded settings is vital to minimizing the spread of COVID-19. We will follow the CDC order, and greatly appreciate the Biden Administration providing rental assistance during the extension as we continue to assist all involved during these difficult days.”
Cleveland Housing court is now processing between 350-400 eviction cases per month, with an average of 115-120 granted, according to a spokesperson. Due to the moratorium, though, overall case numbers have "drastically decreased." The court was seeing roughly 8,000 total civil cases per month in 2019. In 2020, those numbers were cut in half.
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