Locals react to Supreme Court eviction moratorium decision

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the Biden administration’s order extending the federal eviction moratorium.

The two-month ban was originally issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and was struck down Friday by the court in a 6-3 decision, with the majority agreeing that the CDC had exceeded its authority.

So, what does this mean for renters and landlords?

Ginny Ramsey, co-founder and director of the Catholic Action Center in Lexington, says the ruling prevents people who might be evicted from having more time.

“That means that the forty and fifty people a day in court for eviction no longer have protection or time. We expected it would be struck down or it was going to end on October 3rd,” said Ramsey.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on landlords, especially small “mom and pop” owners. Jim McKenzie, president of the Lexington Landlord Association, said the moratorium drove out some of the business.

“We’ve lost a few landlords and really good landlords that provided great, affordable housing–very cheap. And because we’ve lost landlords that have provided affordable housing, it’s going to make those prices go up,” said McKenzie.

McKenzie explained that for some landlords, renting property is a primary source of income, and the moratorium created issues for landlords who could not expect rent from their tenant.

Charlie Lanter, Director of Special Programs for the City of Lexington, says that so far, evictions due to the moratorium lift haven’t happened yet.

“Today, we’ve had three evictions, all of which would have been evictions today because they were unrelated to the moratorium…we really won’t know the impact of this for several weeks because the eviction process is not immediate,” said Lanter.

Lanter says the city is hoping to continue to work with landlords to get them paid–and quickly–through the Housing Stabilization Program.

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