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The National Apartment Association, a landlord lobbyist group, recently filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, seeking to recover damages from what the organization alleges are “severe economic losses under the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) overreaching federal eviction moratorium.”

According to the group, the CDC’s extended moratorium order is jeopardizing the long-term viability of housing infrastructure, putting those who provide rental homes at risk and setting a “dangerous precedent” for future disaster-related protocols.

The organization argues that the CDC restricted several rights in the U.S. Constitution, including:

– The right to access the courts
– The freedom to contract with others absent government interference
– The right to demand compensation when property is taken by government action
– The limits of federal government power

The suit, NAA et al. v. The United States of America, alleges the COVID-19 pandemic has left the industry stranded with $26.6 billion in debt not covered by federal financial assistance.

A U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey reports that roughly 1.2 million households face a likelihood of evictions in the next two months, and landlords have stated they are fearful about the financial implications once these moratoriums end.

“America’s 40 million renters will still need a place to call home tomorrow, next year and next decade,” said Bob Pinnegar, NAA president and CEO. “The CDC’s irresponsible eviction policy has jeopardized not only the availability, but also the future cost of rental housing and leaves renters saddled with crippling debt. NAA is standing up for an industry—and its residents—that are left holding the bag on $26.6 billion in rental debt after operating under extreme conditions for 16 months. The government has intruded into private property and Constitutional freedoms, and we are proudly fighting to make owners whole and ensure residents’ debt is wiped from their record.”

For more information about the lawsuit, click here.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to lizd@rismedia.com.

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