In one of his first actions after his inauguration, President Joseph Biden signed an executive order directing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to extend its federal eviction moratorium through March 31.
The protections had been set to expire January 31.
While the policy has been credited with preventing forced removal due to non-payment for some renters, housing advocates had hoped Biden would add mechanisms to strengthen and enforce the moratorium.
Diane Yentel with the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), which lobbied the Biden administration, said the changes are needed to close loopholes that allow some evictions to continue.
“The existing moratorium is flawed and some landlords exploit loopholes to evict tenants despite the protections. No federal agency is enforcing the order’s penalties for unlawful evictions,” Yentel said in a statement to ABC15.
In Maricopa County, the number of eviction actions have crept up as the pandemic has raged on.
In November, 3,174 eviction actions were filed according to the Maricopa County Justice Court. That is more than double the lowest reported month of May, when 1,480 eviction actions were filed.
Yentel said she believes the Biden administration understands the need for help and expects the CDC to “begin a process for input on needed improvements to the order.”