FAQs about NAHB's Challenge to the CDC's Eviction Moratorium

(Skyworks, Ltd, et al. v Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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In October 2020, NAHB, along with Skyworks, Ltd. and Monarch Investment and Management Group, challenged the Center for Disease Control’s nationwide eviction moratorium order in the federal District Court for Northern District of Ohio. The March 2021 legal victory applies to all NAHB members.

Learn more about the legal case and its implications for NAHB members with the frequently asked questions below.

What is the case about?

In September 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a nationwide eviction moratorium order that prevented landlords from evicting tenants solely for the reason of not paying rent. The CDC relied on the pandemic and the Public Health Service Act as authority for issuing such a sweeping order. To keep from being evicted, a tenant must sign a declaration proclaiming, among other things, that he or she has income under a certain level and could not pay full rent.

The CDC’s order has been extended once by Congress and twice by the CDC. Most recently the CDC extended it until June 30, 2021.

On Oct. 23, 2020, NAHB, along with Skyworks, Ltd. and Monarch Investment and Management Group (the plaintiffs) challenged the CDC’s order in the federal District Court for Northern District of Ohio.

What was the outcome of the lawsuit?

On March 10, 2021, the court agreed with NAHB that the CDC did not have the legal authority to issue the nationwide eviction moratorium. Therefore, under the Administrative Procedure Act, the judge “set aside” the CDC order.

Does that mean the CDC cannot enforce the eviction moratorium nationwide?

Not exactly. The Department of Justice has taken the position that the district court’s opinion only applies to the plaintiffs who challenged the CDC moratorium — namely Skyworks, Ltd, Monarch Investment and Management Group and NAHB.

How does this impact NAHB members?

NAHB brought the lawsuit as a representative of its members who were injured by the CDC moratorium. This gave us “standing” to go to court. Therefore, the district court’s decision applies to all of NAHB’s members.

The Department of Justice has agreed with NAHB’s position that NAHB members, who were members on Oct. 23, 2020, may take advantage of the district court’s decision. However, the eviction moratorium may still apply to landlords who are not NAHB members. Moreover, NAHB members and non-members alike must still comply with state or local eviction restrictions.

How do I get more information about this lawsuit?

If you plan to take advantage of the district court’s opinion, you may email Tom Ward or Crystal Jackson and they can provide more information.

What if I do not want to evict, but want to have the rent paid?

Congress has twice allocated rental assistance funding. NAHB members can seek access to this funding through their local government and state housing finance agencies via the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. You can find more information on the rental assistance here.

These FAQs provide general information and do not constitute any legal advice. NAHB encourages all members to consult their local landlord-tenant attorney prior to filing an eviction.

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