St. Louis Officials Praise Extension of Eviction Moratorium To July 31

click to enlarge Congresswoman Cori Bush says evicting people during the pandemic adds to the danger. - COURTESY CORI BUSH
Congresswoman Cori Bush says evicting people during the pandemic adds to the danger.

St. Louis' top elected officials are applauding the latest extension on federal evictions beyond June 30.

Earlier this week, U.S. Representative Cori Bush and other lawmakers urged President Joe Biden and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to extend the eviction moratorium, which had been set to expire in a matter of days.

“Evictions take lives and push households deeper into poverty, impacting everything from health outcomes to educational attainment,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Biden. “As workers and families across the country are just beginning to recoup from the trauma and economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take all necessary action to protect them from becoming unhoused during this vulnerable time.”

Today, Biden announced the moratorium has been extended to July 31. The CDC director says the extension "is intended to be the final extension of the moratorium," the Associated Press reported.

The moratorium prevents landlords from evicting tenants. It was first put in place last September and has now been extended four times.

More than 2,500 eviction cases are pending in the city of St. Louis, according to a press release from Mayor Tishaura Jones’ office.

“I applaud President Joe Biden’s extension of the federal eviction moratorium. This action will help families across our country get back on their feet,” Jones said in the release. “But this doesn’t mean this crisis is over, and we can’t take our foot off the gas as we try to build the necessary infrastructure now to stave off a potential crisis.”

Jones pointed to her $80 million proposal in initial direct relief funds in which $58 million will be dedicated to housing and utility assistance, support for the unhoused, immediate cash assistance, and public benefits navigators to help residents connect with those services.

Jones said in the release that she is committed to working with the Board of Aldermen to pass the plan quickly in order to "ramp up vaccination efforts, provide direct assistance to families and unhoused neighbors and improve public safety by addressing the root causes of crime."

The Board of Aldermen is currently asking residents to weigh in on how the funds are spent. Residents can weigh in through webinars hosted by the city tonight at 6 p.m., June 29 at 9 a.m., or June 30 at 11 a.m. St. Louisans can also submit their opinion on an online form. Find more information, the links for the webinars and the online form are on the city’s website.

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