(WTRF) — The nationwide eviction moratorium is being extended through June 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday.

The protection was scheduled to expire in two days on March 31.

The CDC says the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the nation’s public health. Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Around 20% of adult renters said they didn’t pay last month’s rent, according to a survey published in March by the Census Bureau.

The order states: “Subject to the limitations under “Applicability,” a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person1 with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to which this Order applies during the effective period of the Order.”

Recently, more than 2,000 advocacy groups signed on to a letter to President Joe Biden and new Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge urging them to extend the ban via executive order and also “address the moratorium’s shortcomings by improving and enforcing the order.”

Implemented in September by the CDC, President Donald Trump’s directive was extended until the end of January. Biden extended it until March 31.

The rationale for the moratorium was that having families lose their homes and move into shelters or share crowded conditions with relatives or friends during a pandemic would further spread the coronavirus.

To be eligible for protection, renters must earn $198,000 or less for couples filing jointly, or $99,000 for single filers; demonstrate that they’ve sought government help to pay the rent; declare that they can’t pay because of COVID-19 hardships, and affirm they are likely to become homeless if evicted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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