CDC eviction moratorium extension helping thousands in Birmingham

Local News
October 02 2021 06:00 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – As COVID-19 continues to rise in Alabama and throughout the country, the CDC has implemented a 60-day eviction moratorium extension to areas highly impacted by infection.

Previously, there was a federal eviction moratorium that expired on July 31, which left millions of Americans wondering if they would be evicted.

But the CDC’s extension is helping thousands of people in Birmingham, according to the Birmingham Housing Authority. President and CEO David Northern Sr. says they serve 23,000 people and believes the extension of the moratorium was much needed.

“We’d be in a bad place. Not just as a community, but as a country,” Northern Sr. said.

“Housing is a crucial part and it’s one of the fundamental things that every human being needs,” Representative Neil Rafferty said.

He says while he supports the move, he wishes it happened before the other moratorium expired.

“And I was baffled by the lack of urgency to making sure that it was extended,” Northern Sr. said.

If no extension happened, Northern Sr. says thousands of people in Birmingham and millions across the country would have a big problem.

“Mass evictions, mass homelessness, disruption, it’s in the middle of COVID, school is starting,” Northern Sr. said.

According to Representative Rafferty, more than 170 evictions are pending in Jefferson County.

“And a hundred more are likely waiting, but many landlords haven’t filed due to the prior moratorium,” Rafferty said.

Jefferson County Judge Ruby Davis says even with some challenges to the CDC’s authority in this situation, they are a federal agency. Which means they do have the authority to do this. President Joe Biden said he expects challenges to the CDC’s ruling, but believes it will buy people more time.

“If you lost your job, whether you lost your hours, whether your contracted COVID, whether you have lost income in any capacity,” Davis said. “This moratorium is something that is actually benefiting the residents of Jefferson County.”

Northern Sr. understands the struggle landlords are going through, but believes this extension will help everyone out in the long run.

“Not only would our clients would have been evicted and made homeless, we would have spent a lot of money trying to rehab units. Which is a triple effect,” Northern Sr. said.

Both renters and landlords are eligible for help. For more information, click here. Make an appointment by calling 205-778-2091.

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