Shirkey, Wentworth On CDC Eviction Order: ‘Property Owners Deserve Advocates’
August 10, 2021
The Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker are requesting the Attorney General to “step in” after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order determining evictions “could be detrimental” against measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
On Aug. 3, President Joe Biden’s White House and the CDC announced extending the eviction moratorium, which had ended July 31, by an additional 61 days — affecting cities where there are “high” and “substantial” spikes in COVID-19 cases.
“Many property owners are struggling to get by in the face of outstanding rent payments, continuing mortgage and tax obligations and needed expenses to maintain their properties,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) in their letter.
The legislative leaders described the challenges of the current time as being unprecedented with unique problems that require creative solutions, “but the federal government knowingly and flagrantly casting aside the law and infringing upon the rights of Michiganders cannot be tolerated.”
“Just like everyone else, they and their families are working hard to bounce back after the past year of difficulty and make ends meet, but this illegal order unfairly takes the opportunity away from them. They deserve an advocate,” the letter expressed for property owners.
Sources from Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office shared that her office just received the letter and is still reviewing it.
The moratorium directly relates to Wayne County, which the CDC deemed to be under “substantial” threat for COVID-19 transmission. The evening following the CDC order, the 36th District Court — the state’s largest district court and one of the busiest courts in the county — announced that, under immediate effect, evictions were halted.
If a community experiences a drop in transmission levels to moderate or low for 14 consecutive days, the moratorium will be concluded.
Other counties currently affected by the moratorium are Macomb, Oakland, Livingston, Ingham, Eaton, Allegan, Lenawee and Washtenaw Counties at ‘substantial’ and Montmorency, Alpena, Iosco and Kalkaska at ‘high threat’.
Beyond where they live, one may also be eligible for moratorium protections if they:
– Have used their “best efforts” to obtain all available government aid for housing.
– Have an income that doesn’t exceed $198,000 for joint tax filers or $99,000 for those filing individually in 2020 and 2021. A person may still qualify if they were not mandated to report any income to the federal government or if they received a stimulus check.
– Have experienced a “substantial loss” of household income, were laid off, were subjected to lost wages or subjected to “extraordinary” out-of-pocket medical expenses — specifically, a medical expense that was un-reimbursed and equated to more than 7.5% of their adjusted gross income.
– Have made their “best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment” as what is permitted under their circumstances, while also considering other non-discretionary costs.
– If an evicted individual has no other housing options and would be either homeless or residing in close quarters with multiple people.