MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Tennessee public policy group is joining in on a federal lawsuit that prevents landlords from evicting tenants because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seven Memphis landlords filed a lawsuit trying to end the federal ban on evictions for unpaid rent. In September, the Centers for Disease Control issued federal order that created a ban on evictions nationwide through the end of the year. The CDC said the ban was necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
In addition to the Memphis landlords, the Beacon Center of Tennessee is joining the lawsuit. A spokesperson for the Beacon Center says they believe the CDC is overstepping its authority.
"This isn't something the CDC should be doing. They are not in charge of housing policy. And if they are going to enter a sweeping law, it needs to be done by legislators not regulatory boards," said Braden Boucek, Beacon Center of TN spokesperson.
There will be a hearing October 30th in Federal Court in Memphis. Landlords are asking the judge to end the eviction ban early. It is one of several lawsuits filed across the country claiming the federal ban is unconstitutional.
In Memphis, about half of the 650,000 residents live in rental property. If the landlords win in court, the order would extend beyond them. Under the current order, rent is not forgiven, and renters owe the full amount January 1st, 2021.