WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the nation to the brink of a housing crisis, and lawmakers are calling for an extension of the federal eviction moratorium that has kept many Americans from losing their homes.
The moratorium expired late last month, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said without an extension, many Americans will likely be forced from their homes.
“Beginning this month Americans are without any protection against excessive and abusive eviction practices,” Blumenthal said. “This humanitarian crisis is avoidable if only we take really substantive action, it will take investment, but we can avoid unparalleled suffering.”
Blumenthal said right now, the next COVID-19 relief package does not include an extension to the moratorium, but earlier this month, President Donald Trump attempted to take matters into his own hands by signing an executive order.
“We are stopping evictions,” he said. “We’re not going to let that happen.”
But the executive order does not provide funding to help homeowners, and only urges the centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Humand Services to study whether action is needed on the issue.
Blumenthal said Trump’s executive order is meaningless and has no force of law.
“Here’s a news flash to my Republican colleagues and the president – yes, eviction moratoriums prevent homelessness. Yes, Americans need it because they lack the income and jobs to pay their rents as well as mortgages,” he said.
Blumenthal argues that the Democrat’s “Heroes Act” is the right solution.