Lawmakers to Introduce Bill Giving HHS Power to Impose Eviction Moratoriums

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog ,

USA Today has an article about a piece of legislation being introduced by lawmakers Cori Bush and Elizabeth Warren that would give the Department of Health and Human Services the ability to impose eviction moratoriums. From the article:

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., comes weeks after the high court blocked the Biden administration's eviction moratorium, ruling the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not have authority to impose the freeze. The CDC is one of the arms of HHS. 

The legislation – dubbed the Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021 – aims to protect renters from eviction by amending Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act to grant the HHS and CDC permanent authority to implement federal eviction moratoriums to address public health crises.

The Public Health Service Act authorizes the federal government to respond to medical and health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Section 361 specifies the HHS secretary is authorized to "take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases." Those functions are delegated to the CDC.