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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Future of eviction moratorium unknown after ruling; here's how it could affect Michigan

Posted at 7:08 AM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 07:08:25-04

(WSYM) — There is now uncertainty for thousands of metro Detroit renters after a federal judge ruled the CDC overstepped its authority when it issued a nationwide eviction moratorium.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen eviction protections extended and fought in court.

President Joe Biden's administration already has an appeal in the works, so there's a chance a stay could be issued on the ruling while it works its way through the legal system.

Rental advocates are also warning not to panic, nor to leave your home if you're behind on rent or utilities.

The moratorium was first enacted under the Trump administration. It was scheduled to last through June, but now it's not known when it could end after the federal judge in D.C. issued the ruling.

“What may end up happening in the next few days is a bit of an obviously valid panic, and watching out for misinformation that could get out to tenants that could result in people self-evicting," Rachael Baker with Detroit Renter City said. "Self-evicting means you could be pressured to move out, but you don't have to leave your rental unit."

How best to help both landlords and tenants have been a challenge during the pandemic. There have been efforts at the state and federal level, all of which are temporary.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer paused all evictions at the state level early on, but that order was void after a Michigan Supreme Court ruling stripped many of her executive orders.

“It ran out at the end of 2020. It was operating county-driven. Some counties did better than others," Matthew Paletz from Paletz Law said.

Pre-pandemic, Michigan landlords filed almost 200,000 eviction cases. That's one for every six rental units in the state.

A 2018 study by the University of Michigan found the eviction filing rate was noticeably higher than those reported elsewhere in the Midwest and U.S.

Romulus, Inkster, Taylor, Southfield and Pontiac had the highest rates.

What the ruling actually means still remains to be seen. Based on the move the Biden administration makes next in response and if a stay is granted.

Some things to remember: you cannot be forced from your home without an eviction notice.

There are also plenty of resources to help. You can call United Community Housing Coalition at 313-293-7790.

There's also the Michigan Legal Help and United Way of Southeastern Michigan to name a few.