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55292 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No.

173 / Friday, September 4, 2020 / Notices

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND immunocompromised state, obesity, eviction or possessory action, shall not
HUMAN SERVICES serious heart conditions, and diabetes, evict any covered person from any
are at increased risk for severe illness residential property in any jurisdiction
Centers for Disease Control and from COVID–19.1 to which this Order applies during the
Prevention COVID–19 presents a historic threat to effective period of the Order. This Order
public health. According to one recent does not apply in any State, local,
Temporary Halt in Residential study, the mortality associated with territorial, or tribal area with a
Evictions To Prevent the Further COVID–19 during the early phase of the moratorium on residential evictions that
Spread of COVID–19 outbreak in New York City was provides the same or greater level of
AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and comparable to the peak mortality public-health protection than the
Prevention (CDC), Department of Health observed during the 1918 H1N1 requirements listed in this Order. Nor
and Human Services (HHS). influenza pandemic.2 During the 1918 does this order apply to American
ACTION: Agency Order. H1N1 influenza pandemic, there were Samoa, which has reported no cases of
approximately 50 million influenza- COVID–19, until such time as cases are
SUMMARY: The Centers for Disease related deaths worldwide, including reported.
Control and Prevention (CDC), located 675,000 in the United States. To In accordance with 42 U.S.C. 264(e),
within the Department of Health and respond to this public health threat, the this Order does not preclude State,
Human Services (HHS) announces the Federal, State, and local governments local, territorial, and tribal authorities
issuance of an Order under Section 361 have taken unprecedented or from imposing additional requirements
of the Public Health Service Act to exceedingly rare actions, including that provide greater public-health
temporarily halt residential evictions to border closures, restrictions on travel, protection and are more restrictive than
prevent the further spread of COVID–19. stay-at-home orders, mask requirements, the requirements in this Order.
DATES: This Order is effective and eviction moratoria. Despite these This Order is a temporary eviction
September 4, 2020 through December best efforts, COVID–19 continues to moratorium to prevent the further
31, 2020. spread and further action is needed. spread of COVID–19. This Order does
not relieve any individual of any
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: In the context of a pandemic, eviction
obligation to pay rent, make a housing
Nina Witkofsky, Acting Chief of Staff, moratoria—like quarantine, isolation,
payment, or comply with any other
Centers for Disease Control and and social distancing—can be an
obligation that the individual may have
Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS effective public health measure utilized
under a tenancy, lease, or similar
H21–10, Atlanta, GA 30329; Telephone: to prevent the spread of communicable
contract. Nothing in this Order
404–639–7000; Email: cdcregulations@ disease. Eviction moratoria facilitate
precludes the charging or collecting of
cdc.gov. self-isolation by people who become ill
fees, penalties, or interest as a result of
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: or who are at risk for severe illness from
the failure to pay rent or other housing
COVID–19 due to an underlying
Background payment on a timely basis, under the
medical condition. They also allow
terms of any applicable contract.
There is currently a pandemic of a State and local authorities to more
respiratory disease (‘‘COVID–19’’) easily implement stay-at-home and Renter’s or Homeowner’s Declaration
caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS– social distancing directives to mitigate Attachment A is a Declaration form
COV–2) that has now spread globally, the community spread of COVID–19. that tenants, lessees, or residents of
including cases reported in all fifty Furthermore, housing stability helps residential properties who are covered
states within the United States plus the protect public health because by the CDC’s order temporarily halting
District of Columbia and U.S. territories homelessness increases the likelihood of residential evictions to prevent the
(excepting American Samoa). As of individuals moving into congregate further spread of COVID–19 may use. To
August 24, 2020, there were over settings, such as homeless shelters, invoke the CDC’s order these persons
23,000,000 cases of COVID–19 globally which then puts individuals at higher must provide an executed copy of the
resulting in over 800,000 deaths; over risk to COVID–19. The ability of these Declaration form (or a similar
5,500,000 cases have been identified in settings to adhere to best practices, such declaration under penalty of perjury) to
the United States, with new cases being as social distancing and other infection their landlord, owner of the residential
reported daily and over 174,000 deaths control measures, decreases as property where they live, or other
due to the disease. populations increase. Unsheltered person who has a right to have them
The virus that causes COVID–19 homelessness also increases the risk that evicted or removed from where they
spreads very easily and sustainably individuals will experience severe live. Each adult listed on the lease,
between people who are in close contact illness from COVID–19. rental agreement, or housing contract
with one another (within about 6 feet), Applicability should likewise complete and provide a
mainly through respiratory droplets declaration. Unless the CDC order is
produced when an infected person Under this Order, a landlord, owner extended, changed, or ended, the order
coughs, sneezes, or talks. Some people of a residential property, or other prevents these persons from being
without symptoms may be able to person 3 with a legal right to pursue evicted or removed from where they are
spread the virus. Among adults, the risk living through December 31, 2020.
1 CDC, People with Certain Medical Conditions,
for severe illness from COVID–19 These persons are still required to pay
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-
increases with age, with older adults at extra-precautions/people-with-medical- rent and follow all the other terms of
highest risk. Severe illness means that conditions.html (accessed August 26, 2020). their lease and rules of the place where
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persons with COVID–19 may require 2 Faust JS, Lin Z, del Rio C. Comparison of
they live. These persons may also still
hospitalization, intensive care, or a Estimated Excess Deaths in New York City During
be evicted for reasons other than not
ventilator to help them breathe, and the COVID–19 and 1918 Influenza Pandemics.
JAMA New Open. 2020;3(8):e2017527. doi:10.1001/ paying rent or making a housing
may be fatal. People of any age with jamanetworkopen.2020.17527.
certain underlying medical conditions, 3 For purposes of this Order, ‘‘person’’ includes partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies,
such as cancer, an corporations, companies, associations, firms, as well as individuals.

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Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 173 / Friday, September 4, 2020 / Notices 55293

payment. Executed declarations should other person with a legal right to pursue similar dwelling leased for residential
not be returned to the Federal eviction or a possessory action, a purposes, but shall not include any
Government. declaration under penalty of perjury hotel, motel, or other guest house rented
indicating that: to a temporary guest or seasonal tenant
Centers for Disease Control and (1) The individual has used best as defined under the laws of the State,
Prevention, Department of Health and efforts to obtain all available territorial, tribal, or local jurisdiction.
Human Services government assistance for rent or ‘‘State’’ shall have the same definition
Order Under Section 361 of the Public housing; as under 42 CFR 70.1, meaning ‘‘any of
Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 264) and (2) The individual either (i) expects to the 50 states, plus the District of
42 CFR 70.2 earn no more than $99,000 in annual Columbia.’’
income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no ‘‘U.S. territory’’ shall have the same
Temporary Halt in Residential
more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax definition as under 42 CFR 70.1,
Evictions To Prevent the Further
return),6 (ii) was not required to report meaning ‘‘any territory (also known as
Spread of COVID–19
any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal possessions) of the United States,
Summary Revenue Service, or (iii) received an including American Samoa, Guam, the
Notice and Order; and subject to the Economic Impact Payment (stimulus Northern Mariana Islands, the
limitations under ‘‘Applicability’’: check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the
Under 42 CFR 70.2, a landlord, owner CARES Act; U.S. Virgin Islands.’’
of a residential property, or other (3) the individual is unable to pay the
full rent or make a full housing payment Statement of Intent
person 4 with a legal right to pursue
eviction or possessory action, shall not due to substantial loss of household This Order shall be interpreted and
evict any covered person from any income, loss of compensable hours of implemented in a manner as to achieve
residential property in any jurisdiction work or wages, a lay-off, or the following objectives:
extraordinary 7 out-of-pocket medical • Mitigating the spread of COVID–19
to which this Order applies during the
expenses; within congregate or shared living
effective period of the Order.
(4) the individual is using best efforts settings, or through unsheltered
Definitions to make timely partial payments that are homelessness;
‘‘Available government assistance’’ as close to the full payment as the • mitigating the further spread of
means any governmental rental or individual’s circumstances may permit, COVID–19 from one U.S. State or U.S.
housing payment benefits available to taking into account other territory into any other U.S. State or
the individual or any household nondiscretionary expenses; and U.S. territory; and
(5) eviction would likely render the • supporting response efforts to
member.
‘‘Available housing’’ means any individual homeless—or force the COVID–19 at the Federal, State, local,
available, unoccupied residential individual to move into and live in territorial, and tribal levels.
property, or other space for occupancy close quarters in a new congregate or Background
in any seasonal or temporary housing, shared living setting—because the
individual has no other available There is currently a pandemic of a
that would not violate Federal, State, or respiratory disease (‘‘COVID–19’’)
local occupancy standards and that housing options.
‘‘Evict’’ and ‘‘Eviction’’ means any caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS–
would not result in an overall increase COV–2) that has now spread globally,
of housing cost to such individual. action by a landlord, owner of a
residential property, or other person including cases reported in all fifty
‘‘Covered person’’ 5 means any tenant,
with a legal right to pursue eviction or states within the United States plus the
lessee, or resident of a residential
a possessory action, to remove or cause District of Columbia and U.S. territories
property who provides to their landlord,
the removal of a covered person from a (excepting American Samoa). As of
the owner of the residential property, or
residential property. This does not August 24, 2020, there were over
4 For purposes of this Order, ‘‘person’’ includes include foreclosure on a home mortgage. 23,000,000 cases of COVID–19 globally
corporations, companies, associations, firms, ‘‘Residential property’’ means any resulting in over 800,000 deaths; over
partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, property leased for residential purposes, 5,500,000 cases have been identified in
as well as individuals. including any house, building, mobile the United States, with new cases being
5 This definition is based on factors that are
home or land in a mobile home park, or reported daily and over 174,000 deaths
known to contribute to evictions and thus increase
the need for individuals to move into close quarters due to the disease.
in new congregate or shared living arrangements or 6 According to one study, the national two- The virus that causes COVID–19
experience homelessness. Individuals who suffer bedroom housing wage in 2020 was $23.96 per hour spreads very easily and sustainably
job loss, have limited financial resources, are low (approximately, $49,837 annually), meaning that an between people who are in close contact
income, or have high out-of-pocket medical hourly wage of $23.96 was needed to afford a
expenses are more likely to be evicted for modest two bedroom house without spending more with one another (within about 6 feet),
nonpayment of rent than others not experiencing than 30% of one’s income on rent. The hourly wage mainly through respiratory droplets
these factors. See Desmond, M., Gershenson, C., needed in Hawaii (the highest cost U.S. State for produced when an infected person
Who gets evicted? Assessing individual, rent) was $38.76 (approximately $80,621 annually). coughs, sneezes, or talks. Some people
neighborhood, and network factors, Social Science See National Low-Income Housing Coalition, Out of
Research 62 (2017), 366–377, http://dx.doi.org/ Reach: The High Cost of Housing 2020, available at: without symptoms may be able to
10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.08.017, (identifying job https://reports.nlihc.org/oor. As further explained spread the virus. Among adults, the risk
loss as a possible predictor of eviction because herein, because this Order is intended to serve the for severe illness from COVID–19
renters who lose their jobs experience not only a critical public health goal of preventing evicted increases with age, with older adults at
sudden loss of income but also the loss of individuals from potentially contributing to the
highest risk. Severe illness means that
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predictable future income). According to one interstate spread of COVID–19 through movement
survey, over one quarter (26%) of respondents also into close quarters in new congregate, shared persons with COVID–19 may require
identified job loss as the primary cause of housing settings, or though homelessness, the hospitalization, intensive care, or a
homelessness. See 2019 San Francisco Homeless higher income thresholds listed here have been ventilator to help them breathe, and
Point-in-Time Count & Survey, page 22, available determined to better serve this goal.
at: https://hsh.sfgov.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/ 7 An extraordinary medical expense is any may be fatal. People of any age with
01/2019HIRDReport_SanFrancisco_FinalDraft- unreimbursed medical expense likely to exceed certain underlying medical conditions,
1.pdf. 7.5% of one’s adjusted gross income for the year. such as cancer, an

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55294 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 173 / Friday, September 4, 2020 / Notices

immunocompromised state, obesity, restrictive than the requirements in this index case of COVID–19 than other
serious heart conditions, and diabetes, Order. close contacts.12
are at increased risk for severe illness Additionally, this Order shall not Shared housing is not limited to
from COVID–19.8 apply to American Samoa, which has friends and family. It includes a broad
COVID–19 presents a historic threat to reported no cases of COVID–19, until range of settings, including transitional
public health. According to one recent such time as cases are reported. housing, and domestic violence and
study, the mortality associated with abuse shelters. Special considerations
COVID–19 during the early phase of the This Order is a temporary eviction exist for such housing because of the
outbreak in New York City was moratorium to prevent the further challenges of maintaining social
comparable to the peak mortality spread of COVID–19. This Order does distance. Residents often gather closely
observed during the 1918 H1N1 not relieve any individual of any or use shared equipment, such as
influenza pandemic.9 During the 1918 obligation to pay rent, make a housing kitchen appliances, laundry facilities,
H1N1 influenza pandemic, there were payment, or comply with any other stairwells, and elevators. Residents may
approximately 50 million influenza- obligation that the individual may have have unique needs, such as disabilities,
related deaths worldwide, including under a tenancy, lease, or similar cognitive decline, or no access to
675,000 in the United States. To contract. Nothing in this Order technology, and thus may find it more
respond to this public health threat, the precludes the charging or collecting of difficult to take actions to protect
Federal, State, and local governments fees, penalties, or interest as a result of themselves from COVID–19. CDC
have taken unprecedented or the failure to pay rent or other housing recommends that shelters provide new
exceedingly rare actions, including payment on a timely basis, under the residents with a clean mask, keep them
border closures, restrictions on travel, terms of any applicable contract. isolated from others, screen for
stay-at-home orders, mask requirements, Nothing in this Order precludes symptoms at entry, or arrange for
and eviction moratoria. Despite these evictions based on a tenant, lessee, or medical evaluations as needed
significant efforts, COVID–19 continues resident: (1) Engaging in criminal depending on symptoms.13
to spread and further action is needed. activity while on the premises; (2) Accordingly, an influx of new residents
In the context of a pandemic, eviction threatening the health or safety of other at facilities that offer support services
moratoria—like quarantine, isolation, residents; 10 (3) damaging or posing an could potentially overwhelm staff and,
and social distancing—can be an immediate and significant risk of if recommendations are not followed,
effective public health measure utilized damage to property; (4) violating any lead to exposures.
to prevent the spread of communicable applicable building code, health Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid,
disease. Eviction moratoria facilitate ordinance, or similar regulation relating Relief, and Economic Security (CARES)
self-isolation by people who become ill to health and safety; or (5) violating any Act (Pub. L. 116–136) to aid individuals
or who are at risk for severe illness from other contractual obligation, other than and businesses adversely affected by
COVID–19 due to an underlying the timely payment of rent or similar COVID–19. Section 4024 of the CARES
medical condition. They also allow housing-related payment (including Act provided a 120-day moratorium on
State and local authorities to more non-payment or late payment of fees, eviction filings as well as other
easily implement stay-at-home and protections for tenants in certain rental
penalties, or interest).
social distancing directives to mitigate properties with Federal assistance or
the community spread of COVID–19. Eviction and Risk of COVID–19 federally related financing. These
Furthermore, housing stability helps Transmission protections helped alleviate the public
protect public health because health consequences of tenant
Evicted renters must move, which displacement during the COVID–19
homelessness increases the likelihood of leads to multiple outcomes that increase pandemic. The CARES Act eviction
individuals moving into close quarters the risk of COVID–19 spread. moratorium expired on July 24, 2020.14
in congregate settings, such as homeless Specifically, many evicted renters move The protections in the CARES Act
shelters, which then puts individuals at into close quarters in shared housing or supplemented temporary eviction
higher risk to COVID–19. other congregate settings. According to moratoria and rent freezes implemented
Applicability the Census Bureau American Housing by governors and local officials using
Survey, 32% of renters reported that emergency powers.
This Order does not apply in any
they would move in with friends or Researchers estimated that this
State, local, territorial, or tribal area
family members upon eviction, which temporary Federal moratorium provided
with a moratorium on residential
would introduce new household relief to a material portion of the
evictions that provides the same or
members and potentially increase nation’s roughly 43 million renters.15
greater level of public-health protection
household crowding.11 Studies show
than the requirements listed in this
that COVID–19 transmission occurs 12 Bi Q, Wu Y, Mei S, et al. Epidemiology and
Order. In accordance with 42 U.S.C.
readily within households; household transmission of COVID–19 in 391 cases and 1286
264(e), this Order does not preclude of their close contacts in Shenzhen, China: a
contacts are estimated to be 6 times
State, local, territorial, and tribal retrospective cohort study. Lancet Infect Dis 2020,
more likely to become infected by an https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30287-5.
authorities from imposing additional
13 See CDC COVID–19 Guidance for Shared or
requirements that provide greater 10 Individuals who might have COVID–19 are Congregate Housing, available at: https://
public-health protection and are more advised to stay home except to get medical care. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/
Accordingly, individuals who might have COVID– shared-congregate-house/guidance-shared-
8 CDC, People with Certain Medical Conditions, 19 and take reasonable precautions to not spread congregate-housing.html.
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https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need- the disease should not be evicted on the ground that 14 Because evictions generally require 30-days’

extra-precautions/people-with-medical- they may pose a health or safety threat to other notice, the effects of housing displacement due to
conditions.html (accessed August 26, 2020). residents. See What to Do if You are Sick, available the expiration of the CARES act are not expected
9 Faust JS, Lin Z, del Rio C. Comparison of at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if- to manifest until August 27, 2020.
Estimated Excess Deaths in New York City During you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html. 15 See Congressional Research Service, CARES

the COVID–19 and 1918 Influenza Pandemics. 11 United States Census Bureau. American Act Eviction Moratorium, (April 7, 2020) available
JAMA New Open. 2020;3(8):e2017527. doi:10.1001/ Housing Survey, 2017. https://www.census.gov/ at: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IN/
jamanetworkopen.2020.17527. programs-surveys/ahs.html. IN11320.

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Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 173 / Friday, September 4, 2020 / Notices 55295

Approximately 12.3 million rental units some individuals and families who are individuals who become homeless.
have federally backed financing, evicted may originally stay with family Shelters that do not adhere to the
representing 28% of renters. Other data or friends, but subsequently seek guidance, and operate at ordinary or
show more than 2 million housing homeless services. Among people who increased occupancy, are at greater risk
vouchers along with approximately 2 entered shelters throughout the United for the types of outbreaks described
million other federally assisted rental States in 2017, 27% were staying with above. The challenge of mitigating
units.16 family or friends beforehand.23 disease transmission in homeless
The Federal moratorium, however, People experiencing homelessness are shelters has been compounded because
did not reach all renters. Many renters a high-risk population. It may be more some organizations have chosen to stop
who fell outside the scope of the Federal difficult for these persons to or limit volunteer access and
moratorium were protected under State consistently access the necessary participation.
and local moratoria. In the absence of resources in order to adhere to public In the context of the current
State and local protections, as many as health recommendations to prevent pandemic, large increases in evictions
30–40 million people in America could COVID–19. For instance, it may not be could have at least two potential
be at risk of eviction.17 A wave of possible to avoid certain congregate negative consequences. One is if
evictions on that scale would be settings such as homeless shelters, or homeless shelters increase occupancy in
unprecedented in modern times.18 A easily access facilities to engage in ways that increase the exposure risk to
large portion of those who are evicted handwashing with soap and water. COVID–19. The other is if homeless
may move into close quarters in shared Extensive outbreaks of COVID–19 shelters turn away the recently
housing or, as discussed below, become have been identified in homeless homeless, who could become
homeless, thus contributing to the shelters.24 In Seattle, Washington, a unsheltered, and further contribute to
spread of COVID–19. network of three related homeless the spread of COVID–19. Neither
The statistics on interstate moves shelters experienced an outbreak that consequence is in the interest of the
show that mass evictions would likely led to 43 cases among residents and staff public health.
increase the interstate spread of COVID– members.25 In Boston, Massachusetts,
The risk of COVID–19 spread
19. Over 35 million Americans, universal COVID–19 testing at a single
associated with unsheltered
representing approximately 10% of the shelter revealed 147 cases, representing
homelessness (those who are sleeping
U.S. population, move each year.19 36% of shelter residents.26 COVID–19
Approximately 15% of moves are outside or in places not meant for
testing in a single shelter in San
interstate.20 human habitation) is of great concern to
Francisco led to the identification of 101
CDC. Over 35% of homeless persons are
Eviction, Homelessness, and Risk of cases (67% of those tested).27
typically unsheltered.30 The
Severe Disease From COVID–19 Throughout the United States, among
unsheltered homeless are at higher risk
208 shelters reporting universal
Evicted individuals without access to for infection when there is community
diagnostic testing data, 9% of shelter
housing or assistance options may also spread of COVID–19. The risks
clients have tested positive.28
contribute to the homeless population, CDC guidance recommends increasing associated with sleeping and living
including older adults or those with physical distance between beds in outdoors or in an encampment setting
underlying medical conditions, who are homeless shelters.29 To adhere to this are different than from staying indoors
more at risk for severe illness from guidance, shelters have limited the in a congregate setting, such as an
COVID–19 than the general number of people served throughout the emergency shelter or other congregate
population.21 In Seattle-King County, 5– United States. In many places, living facility. While outdoor settings
15% of people experiencing considerably fewer beds are available to may allow people to increase physical
homelessness between 2018 and 2020 distance between themselves and
cited eviction as the primary reason for uploads/2020/07/Count-Us-In-2020-Final_
others, they may also involve exposure
becoming homeless.22 Additionally, 7.29.2020.pdf to the elements and inadequate access to
23 United States Department of Housing and hygiene, sanitation facilities, health
16 See HUD, A Picture of Subsidized Households Urban Development. The 2017 Annual Homeless care, and therapeutics. The latter factors
General Description of the Data and Bibliography, Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress: Part 2. contribute to the further spread of
available at: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/ Available at: https://files.hudexchange.info/
datasets/assthsg/statedata98/descript.html. resources/documents/2017-AHAR-Part-2.pdf COVID–19.
17 See Emily Benfer, et al., The COVID–19 24 Mosites E, et al, Assessment of SARS-CoV–2 Additionally, research suggests that
Eviction Crisis: An Estimated 30–40 Million People Infection Prevalence in Homeless Shelters—Four the population of persons who would be
in America are at Risk, available at: https:// U.S. Cities, March 27–April 15, 2020. MMWR 2020 evicted and become homeless would
www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-posts/the-covid-19- May 1;69(17):521–522.
eviction-crisis-an-estimated-30-40-million-people- 25 Tobolowsky FA, et al. COVID–19 Outbreak include many who are predisposed to
in-america-are-at-risk/. Among Three Affiliated Homeless Service Sites— developing severe disease from COVID–
18 As a baseline, approximately 900,000 renters King County, Washington, 2020. MMWR 2020 May 19. Five studies have shown an
are evicted every year in the United States. 1;69(17):523–526. association between eviction and
Princeton University Eviction Lab. National 26 Baggett TP, Keyes H, Sporn N, Gaeta JM.
hypertension, which has been
Estimates: Eviction in America. https:// Prevalence of SARS-CoV–2 Infection in Residents of
evictionlab.org/national-estimates/. a Large Homeless Shelter in Boston. JAMA. 2020 associated with more severe outcomes
19 See U.S. Census Bureau, CPS Historical Apr 27;323(21):2191–2. Online ahead of print. from COVID–19.31 Also, the homeless
Migration/Geographic Mobility Tables, available at: 27 Imbert E, et al. Coronavirus Disease 2019

https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/ (COVID–19) Outbreak in a San Francisco Homeless 30 In January 2018, 552,830 people were counted
demo/geographic-mobility/historic.html. Shelter. Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Aug 3. as homeless in the United States. Of those, 194,467
20 Id. 28 National Health Care for the Homeless Council (35 percent) were unsheltered, and 358,363 (65
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21 See CDC, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID– and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. percent) were sheltered. See, Council of Economic
19), People Who Are at Increased Risk for Severe Universal Testing Data Dashboard. Available at: Advisors, The State of Homelessness in America
Illness, available at https://www.cdc.gov/ https://nhchc.org/cdc-covid-dashboard/. (September 2019), available at https://
coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/ 29 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/
people-at-increased-risk.html (accessed August 26, Interim Guidance for Homeless Service Providers to The-State-of-Homelessness-in-America.pdf.
2020). Plan and Respond to COVID–19. https:// 31 Hugo Vasquez-Vera, et al. The threat of home
22 Seattle-King County. Point in Time Count. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/ eviction and its effects on health through the equity
https://regionalhomelesssystem.org/wp-content/ homeless-shelters/plan-prepare-respond.html. Continued

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55296 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 173 / Friday, September 4, 2020 / Notices

often have underlying conditions that do not meet or exceed these minimum homeless and unsheltered, and further
increase their risk of severe outcomes of protections are insufficient to prevent contribute to the spread of COVID–19. A
COVID–19.32 Among patients with the interstate spread of COVID–19.36 delay in the effective date of the Order
COVID–19, homelessness has been Based on the convergence of COVID– that leads to such consequences would
associated with increased likelihood of 19, seasonal influenza, and the defeat the purpose of the Order and
hospitalization.33 increased risk of individuals sheltering endanger the public health. Immediate
These public health risks may in close quarters in congregate settings action is necessary.
increase seasonally. Each year, as winter such as homeless shelters, which may Similarly, if this Order qualifies as a
approaches and the temperature drops, be unable to provide adequate social rule under the APA, the Office of
many homeless move into shelters to distancing as populations increase, all Information and Regulatory Affairs has
escape the cold and the occupancy of of which may be exacerbated as fall and determined that it would be a major rule
shelters increases.34 At the same time, winter approach, I have determined that under the Congressional Review Act
there is evidence to suggest that the a temporary halt on evictions through (CRA). But there would not be a delay
homeless are more susceptible to December 31, 2020, subject to further in its effective date. The agency has
respiratory tract infections,35 which extension, modification, or rescission, is determined that for the same reasons,
may include seasonal influenza. While appropriate. there would be good cause under the
there are differences in the Therefore, under 42 CFR 70.2, subject CRA to make the requirements herein
epidemiology of COVID–19 and to the limitations under the effective immediately.
seasonal influenza, the potential co- ‘‘Applicability’’ section, a landlord, If any provision of this Order, or the
circulation of viruses during periods of owner of a residential property, or other application of any provision to any
increased occupancy in shelters could person with a legal right to pursue persons, entities, or circumstances, shall
increase the risk to occupants in those eviction or possessory action shall not be held invalid, the remainder of the
shelters. evict any covered person from any provisions, or the application of such
In short, evictions threaten to increase residential property in any State or U.S. provisions to any persons, entities, or
the spread of COVID–19 as they force territory in which there are documented circumstances other than those to which
people to move, often into close quarters cases of COVID–19 that provides a level it is held invalid, shall remain valid and
in new shared housing settings with of public-health protections below the in effect.
friends or family, or congregate settings requirements listed in this Order. This Order shall be enforced by
such as homeless shelters. The ability of This Order is not a rule within the Federal authorities and cooperating
these settings to adhere to best practices, meaning of the Administrative State and local authorities through the
such as social distancing and other Procedure Act (‘‘APA’’) but rather an provisions of 18 U.S.C. 3559, 3571; 42
infection control measures, decreases as emergency action taken under the U.S.C. 243, 268, 271; and 42 CFR 70.18.
populations increase. Unsheltered existing authority of 42 CFR 70.2. In the However, this Order has no effect on the
homelessness also increases the risk that event that this Order qualifies as a rule contractual obligations of renters to pay
individuals will experience severe under the APA, notice and comment rent and shall not preclude charging or
illness from COVID–19. and a delay in effective date are not collecting fees, penalties, or interest as
Findings and Action required because there is good cause to a result of the failure to pay rent or other
dispense with prior public notice and housing payment on a timely basis,
Therefore, I have determined the under the terms of any applicable
temporary halt in evictions in this Order comment and the opportunity to
comment on this Order and the delay in contract.
constitutes a reasonably necessary
measure under 42 CFR 70.2 to prevent effective date. See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). Criminal Penalties
the further spread of COVID–19 Considering the public-health
Under 18 U.S.C. 3559, 3571; 42 U.S.C.
throughout the United States. I have emergency caused by COVID–19, it
271; and 42 CFR 70.18, a person
further determined that measures by would be impracticable and contrary to
violating this Order may be subject to a
states, localities, or U.S. territories that the public health, and by extension the
fine of no more than $100,000 if the
public interest, to delay the issuance
violation does not result in a death or
lens: A systematic review. Social Science and and effective date of this Order.
one year in jail, or both, or a fine of no
Medicine. 175 (2017) 199e208. A delay in the effective date of the
more than $250,000 if the violation
32 Fazel S, Geddes JR, Kushel M. The health of Order would permit the occurrence of
homeless people in high-income countries: results in a death or one year in jail, or
evictions—potentially on a mass scale—
descriptive epidemiology, health consequences, and both, or as otherwise provided by law.
clinical and policy recommendations. Lancet.
that could have potentially significant
An organization violating this Order
2014;384(9953):1529–1540. consequences. As discussed above, one
may be subject to a fine of no more than
33 Hsu HE, et al. Race/Ethnicity, Underlying potential consequence would be that
$200,000 per event if the violation does
Medical Conditions, Homelessness, and evicted individuals would move into
Hospitalization Status of Adult Patients with not result in a death or $500,000 per
close quarters in congregate or shared
COVID–19 at an Urban Safety-Net Medical Center— event if the violation results in a death
Boston, Massachusetts, 2020. MMWR 2020 Jul living settings, including homeless
or as otherwise provided by law. The
10;69(27):864–869. Historically, African Americans shelters, which would put the
and Hispanic Americans are disproportionately U.S. Department of Justice may initiate
individuals at higher risk to COVID–19.
represented in evictions compared to other races. court proceedings as appropriate
They are more likely to experience severe outcomes
Another potential consequence would
seeking imposition of these criminal
of COVID–19. Id. be if evicted individuals become
34 See, generally, the Annual Homeless
penalties.
Assessment Report to Congress (2007), available at: 36 In the United States, public health measures are
Notice to Cooperating State and Local
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https://www.huduser.gov/Publications/pdf/ahar.pdf implemented at all levels of government, including


(acknowledging the seasonality of shelter bed use).
Officials
the Federal, State, local, and tribal levels. Publicly-
35 Ly TDA, Edouard S, Badiaga S, et al. available compilations of pending measures Under 42 U.S.C. 243, the U.S.
Epidemiology of respiratory pathogen carriage in indicate that eviction moratoria and other Department of Health and Human
the homeless population within two shelters in protections from eviction have expired or are set to
Marseille, France, 2015–2017: Cross sectional 1-day expire in many jurisdictions. Eviction Lab, COVID–
Services is authorized to cooperate with
surveys. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2019; 25(2):249.e1– 19 Housing Policy Scorecard, available at: https:// and aid State and local authorities in the
249.e6. evictionlab.org/covid-policy-scorecard/. enforcement of their quarantine and

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Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 173 / Friday, September 4, 2020 / Notices 55297

other health regulations and to accept issues/cares/state-and-local- wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary 38 out-
State and local assistance in the governments for more information. of-pocket medical expenses;
enforcement of Federal quarantine rules • I am using best efforts to make
Effective Date
and regulations, including in the timely partial payments that are as close
enforcement of this Order. This Order is effective upon
publication in the Federal Register and to the full payment as the individual’s
Notice of Available Federal Resources will remain in effect, unless extended, circumstances may permit, taking into
While this order to prevent eviction is modified, or rescinded, through account other nondiscretionary
effectuated to protect the public health, December 31, 2020. expenses;
the States and units of local government • If evicted I would likely become
Attachment
are reminded that the Federal homeless, need to move into a homeless
Government has deployed Declaration Under Penalty of Perjury shelter, or need to move into a new
unprecedented resources to address the for the Centers for Disease Control and residence shared by other people who
pandemic, including housing assistance. Prevention’s Temporary Halt in live in close quarters because I have no
The Department of Housing and Evictions to Prevent Further Spread of other available housing options.39
Urban Development (HUD) has COVID–19
informed CDC that all HUD grantees— • I understand that I must still pay
This declaration is for tenants, rent or make a housing payment, and
states, cities, communities, and lessees, or residents of residential
nonprofits—who received Emergency comply with other obligations that I
properties who are covered by the CDC’s may have under my tenancy, lease
Solutions Grants (ESG) or Community order temporarily halting residential
Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds agreement, or similar contract. I further
evictions (not including foreclosures on
under the CARES Act may use these understand that fees, penalties, or
home mortgages) to prevent the further
funds to provide temporary rental spread of COVID–19. Under the CDC’s interest for not paying rent or making a
assistance, homelessness prevention, or order you must provide a copy of this housing payment on time as required by
other aid to individuals who are declaration to your landlord, owner of my tenancy, lease agreement, or similar
experiencing financial hardship because the residential property where you live, contract may still be charged or
of the pandemic and are at risk of being or other person who has a right to have collected.
evicted, consistent with applicable laws, you evicted or removed from where you • I further understand that at the end
regulations, and guidance. live. Each adult listed on the lease, of this temporary halt on evictions on
HUD has further informed CDC that: rental agreement, or housing contract December 31, 2020, my housing
HUD’s grantees and partners play a critical should complete this declaration. provider may require payment in full for
role in prioritizing efforts to support this Unless the CDC order is extended,
goal. As grantees decide how to deploy all payments not made prior to and
changed, or ended, the order prevents during the temporary halt and failure to
CDBG–CV and ESG–CV funds provided by
the CARES Act, all communities should you from being evicted or removed from pay may make me subject to eviction
assess what resources have already been where you are living through December pursuant to State and local laws.
allocated to prevent evictions and 31, 2020. You are still required to pay
homelessness through temporary rental rent and follow all the other terms of I understand that any false or misleading
assistance and homelessness prevention, your lease and rules of the place where statements or omissions may result in
particularly to the most vulnerable you live. You may also still be evicted criminal and civil actions for fines, penalties,
households. for reasons other than not paying rent or damages, or imprisonment.
HUD stands at the ready to support
making a housing payment. This lllll
American communities take these steps to Signature of Declarant Date
reduce the spread of COVID–19 and maintain declaration is sworn testimony, meaning
economic prosperity. Where gaps are that you can be prosecuted, go to jail, or lllll
identified, grantees should coordinate across pay a fine if you lie, mislead, or omit Authority
available Federal, non-Federal, and important information.
philanthropic funds to ensure these critical I certify under penalty of perjury, The authority for this Order is Section
needs are sufficiently addressed, and utilize pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746, that the
HUD’s technical assistance to design and
361 of the Public Health Service Act (42
foregoing are true and correct: U.S.C. 264) and 42 CFR 70.2.
implement programs to support a
• I have used best efforts to obtain all
coordinated response to eviction prevention Dated: September 1, 2020.
needs. For program support, including available government assistance for rent
technical assistance, please visit or housing; 37 Nina B. Witkofsky,
www.hudexchange.info/program-support. • I either expect to earn no more than Acting Chief of Staff, Centers for Disease
For further information on HUD resources, $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Control and Prevention.
tools, and guidance available to respond to Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if [FR Doc. 2020–19654 Filed 9–1–20; 4:15 pm]
the COVID–19 pandemic, State and local filing a joint tax return), was not BILLING CODE 4163–18–P
officials are directed to visit https:// required to report any income in 2019
www.hud.gov/coronavirus. These tools to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or
include toolkits for Public Housing
Authorities and Housing Choice Voucher
received an Economic Impact Payment
landlords related to housing stability and (stimulus check) pursuant to Section
eviction prevention, as well as similar 2201 of the CARES Act;
guidance for owners and renters in HUD- • I am unable to pay my full rent or 38 An ‘‘extraordinary’’ medical expense is any

assisted multifamily properties. make a full housing payment due to unreimbursed medical expense likely to exceed
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Similarly, the Department of the substantial loss of household income, 7.5% of one’s adjusted gross income for the year.
Treasury has informed CDC that the loss of compensable hours of work or 39 ‘‘Available housing’’ means any available,

unoccupied residential property, or other space for


funds allocated through the Coronavirus 37 ‘‘Available government assistance’’ means any occupancy in any seasonal or temporary housing,
Relief Fund may be used to fund rental governmental rental or housing payment benefits that would not violate Federal, State, or local
assistance programs to prevent eviction. available to the individual or any household occupancy standards and that would not result in
Visit https://home.treasury.gov/policy- member. an overall increase of housing cost to you.

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