Eviction file photo

(The Center Square) – An Ohio think tank believes an eviction moratorium put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic causes more harm than good and should be ended.

The Buckeye Institute joined the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Southeastern Legal Foundation’s lawsuit on behalf of a Texas landlord that is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

“As is often the case with government regulations, the remedy has the perverse effect of causing more harm than intended, such as the case with the CDC’s national ban on evictions,” said Jay Carson, senior litigator at The Buckeye Institute. “While the CDC’s intentions may have been good, studies show that when small landlords are unable to pay their mortgages, taxes and for upkeep on their properties, they exit the market, leaving fewer housing options available.”

The institute filed an amicus brief in the Texas case, arguing the federal government, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assumed powers it does not have under the U.S. Constitution by enacting a nationwide ban on evictions.

Lauren Terkel, who owns a four-plex rental house in Tyler, Texas, filed the lawsuit, claiming she was denied her right under Texas state law to evict a nonpaying tenant because of the eviction ban.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed the current the eviction moratorium, which is effective through June 30. The original eviction ban was approved by lawmakers in the first COVID-19 relief legislation passed in March 2020.

A group of real estate agents asked the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month to block the CDC order after a district court ruled it was unlawful. However, the court put that ruling on hold pending appeal, according to CNN.

That was one of several lawsuits filed challenging the ban, including one in Ohio, where a federal judge ruled the CDC did not have the authority to issue a nationwide ban, CNN also reported.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.