WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden, just hours after being sworn into office Wednesday, signed a slew of executive orders to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Among the orders included extending the eviction moratorium for renters and homeowners who have fallen behind on their payments or bills.
The order delays housing foreclosures and evictions until at least March 31, 2021. It was originally set to expire on Jan. 31, 2021. It ensures that people could stay in their homes even if they cannot afford their monthly bills.
Almost 12% of homeowners with mortgages are late on their payments, while 19% of renters are behind, according to a Census Bureau survey of households.
On top of that, Biden has called calling on Congress to extend assistance to renters.
While the moratoriums have aided several million Americans during the pandemic and helped to contain the disease, they have also meant that billions of dollars in housing costs have gone unpaid.
In a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package proposed by Biden before he took office, he asks Congress to consider a temporary boost in unemployment benefits and extending moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures through September 2021.
Other executive orders by the president on his first day included halting the construction of Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall, ended the ban on travel from some Muslim-majority countries, declared his intent to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization and revoked the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.