The president’s order doesn’t actually require any concrete action to prevent a coronavirus housing crisis.
By Kriston Capps | 10 August 2020
BLOOMBERG — With Senate Republicans still deadlocked over how or whether to renew protections for Americans struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump stepped into the breach on Saturday, signing an executive order on evictions and foreclosures and issuing several memos on other policy issues.
In its solo act, the White House pledged to defer payroll taxes, waive student loan payments, and authorize a new program to boost unemployment benefits by $400 a week. Trump also promised action on behalf of renters left vulnerable by the expiration of the federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures first passed by Congress under the CARES Act.
“I’m protecting people from eviction,” Trump said on Saturday. “You’ve been hearing a lot about eviction, and the Democrats don’t want to do anything having to do with protecting people from eviction.”
Yet Saturday’s executive order doesn’t renew the federal moratorium on evictions that expired in July. In fact, it doesn’t authorize any new action on evictions or foreclosures at all. Rather it instructs the leaders of several agencies, namely the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to look again at existing funds or options for protecting renters, without promising any specific relief. […]