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Schatz: CDC eviction moratorium applies to all Hawaii counties

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz took to Twitter today to announce that a federal eviction moratorium is in effect for “ALL counties across the state of Hawaii.”

The announcement by Hawaii’s senior senator comes a day after Gov. David Ige said his eviction moratorium expires today and landlords could start eviction proceedings.

Ige’s ban had been in effect since April 2020 in response to the economic downturn and joblessness caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Schatz’s tweet, issued just after 10 a.m., said: “For all Hawaii tenants and landlords: We have now confirmed twice with the CDC that the new federal eviction moratorium applies to ALL counties across the state of Hawaii.”

Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Tuesday signed a new order temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission in order to respond to recent developments in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise of the Delta variant.

According to the CDC, the order is intended to target specific areas of the country where cases are rapidly increasing, which likely would be exacerbated by mass evictions.

Hawaii County reported 110 new COVID-19 cases today, with 986 active cases and 25 hospitalizations.

On Thursday, Schatz, a Democrat and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Housing and Transportation, released a statement on a new order issued by the Biden administration that will extend the federal eviction moratorium.

“No one should be kicked out of their home during a pandemic because they can’t afford their rent,” Schatz said. “These extensions will stop evictions for thousands of Hawaii residents struggling to make ends meet — a necessary step taken by the Biden Administration, and the right thing to do.”

Schatz’s Thursday statement had a link to a page on his website titled “relief for renters and homeowners.” That page can be found at bit.ly/3jyhEcW.

In July, Ige said renters will have a 30-day window after receipt of an eviction notice. He urged both renters and landlords to contact their local mediation centers about their rights under the law.

State officials have been advising renters to apply for rental assistance and to consider mediation.

Mediation services on the Big Island are:

• East Hawaii: Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, hawaiimediation.org

• West Hawaii: West Hawai‘i Mediation Center, whmediation.org/our-services/landlord-tenant

Ige’s office said he plans to release a statement today.

This story will be updated. See Saturday’s edition of the Tribune-Herald for more.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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