Durbin Applauds CDC's New Eviction Moratorium

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the Senate floor about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new 60-day eviction moratorium temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission of COVID-19. Durbin applauded the Biden Administration for their action and voiced his support for helping Americans who are still struggling as the Delta variant of the virus surges in communities across America.

During his floor speech, Durbin also shared the story of Patricia Vasquez, who lives in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood and applied for emergency rental assistance to pay overdue utility bills and stay in her home.

“By the time Patricia Vasquez received an e-mail on July 23, telling her that she qualified for help from Chicago's Emergency Rental Assistance Program, the gas to her apartment had already been cut off because of a $1,400 unpaid bill. She had sold some of her clothes and jewelry to pay the electric bill and keep the lights on, and she was six months behind in rent. The emergency assistance will help her pay rent and utility bills. The federal eviction moratorium will enable people like Patricia to avoid the traumas of eviction and homelessness while they wait for the emergency assistance to reach them,” Durbin said.

Durbin continued by urging state and local governments to step up their efforts to provide emergency rental assistance funding – $46 billion authorized by the December COVID relief bill and American Rescue Plan – to landlords and tenants in order to protect people from eviction during the pandemic.

“So far only $3 billion of the $46 billion has reached tenants and landlords. To punish renters who have already lost so much over delays over which they have no control and to evict them with the Delta variant tearing the country apart would be unfair, unconscionable, and in many cases deleterious to public health. It would harm our efforts to bring this virus under control for good. Fortunately in recent weeks, many cities and states have made progress in getting help out to the people who need it. That includes the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois. The CDC’s new eviction moratorium is only a first step. It is imperative that all state and local governments step up their efforts to get federal relief to the families who need it and the landlords as well. This pandemic has caused enough pain. Red tape cannot be allowed to deepen that pain for anyone,” Durbin said.

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.