Articles Posted in COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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In a closely watched 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court sided against the challengers to the eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), keeping a stay in place that leaves the eviction ban in effect through July 31. The CDC has indicated it will not renew the eviction moratorium when it expires at the end of the month.

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As new cases of COVID-19 declines, each County in the San Francisco Bay Area is reopening gradually in accordance with the California’s colored tier system. The patchwork of local rules and orders is difficult to follow. Our Bay Area Reopening Tracker is here to help. We have included each of the nine Bay Area counties, and their respective current tier, Health Order (and additional relevant orders), and our short comments regarding their status. Please check back in with us—we plan to update the Bay Area Reopening Tracker weekly for the foreseeable future.

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Late last week a federal district court judge for the District of Columbia held that the nationwide eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) went beyond the agency’s statutory authority and vacated it nationwide. This decision effectively expanded a similar decision by a Texas federal court last month that found the CDC’s moratorium was an improper use of federal power but limited its decision to the litigants to that case and declined to vacate the CDC order.

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One year into the pandemic, courts have almost uniformly found that COVID-19 does not permit commercial tenants to avoid their rent payment obligations. In this case, the court continued that trend, ruling that the pandemic was not a “casualty” that permits a tenant to abate its rent payments or cancel its lease. Authors Patrick J. PotterChristian A. BuergerHugh M. McDonaldPatrick E. Fitzmaurice, and Jonathan Doolittle discuss a new case from the Southern District of New York that extends the trend of courts enforcing leases against tenants forced to close due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in “Court Finds Pandemic Does Not Satisfy Lease’s Casualty Clause.”

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President Biden has now signed the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion investment and stimulus package designed to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, into law. Matthew OresmanElizabeth Vella MoellerCraig J. SapersteinBrian E. FinchAlexander B. GinsbergAimee P. GhoshZachary M. KesslerRose Fowler Lapp discuss the relief bill which includes a new round of stimulus payments, along with dedicated aid for state and local governments, support to expand COVID-19 vaccination and testing programs, housing support, cybersecurity investments, support for the restaurant industry, and funds for school reopening plans. The alert, Congress Passes $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Package also provides an overview of how the bill affects  housing, mortgage, rental and utility assistance.

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CDC logoA federal judge in Texas has declared the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium unconstitutional, holding that Article I’s power to regulate interstate commerce and enact laws necessary and proper for such regulation does not include the power to suspend residential evictions on a nationwide basis. While the court stopped short of issuing immediate injunctive relief, instead relying on the CDC to “respect the declaratory judgment” and withdraw the Order, the court stated that such relief would be available if the government does not comply with the decision. With this ruling, the most significant prohibition on residential evictions for nonpayment of rent is likely to be lifted, and many residential evictions halted or delayed under the Order may begin in earnest. While additional tenant protections remain in certain locales, this federal ruling increases the likely rate and pace of residential eviction activity across the country.

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CDC-logo-300x221Months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a nationwide eviction moratorium using its emergency pandemic powers under the Public Health Service Act, the efficacy of this unprecedented measure remains unclear. While the Order ostensibly protects tenants facing homelessness or housing insecurity due to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through the end of 2020, legal challenges have been initiated in Ohio and Georgia, with additional lawsuits appearing likely. Further, even barring legal challenges, courts have not handled these cases in a uniform manner. With lawmakers unable to reach any stimulus or COVID-19 relief agreement before the election, the CDC Order appears likely to remain the only federal eviction moratorium through its expiration on December 31, 2020.

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2020 has been an unprecedented year, and, while there are likely more twists and turns to come before December 31, it is essential to look at how the real estate markets have changed this year and which trends are likely to continue into 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every industry, including commercial real estate, and its impact will continue to influence the market and commercial real estate long after the virus has been eradicated.

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Industry_Podcast_cover-update-final-bottom-300x169In episode 18 of Industry Insights podcast, host Joel Simon and Elina Teplinsky discuss the financial community’s response to the energy transition including the focus on novel technologies such as clean hydrogen, advanced nuclear reactors and carbon capture and storage.

Joel Simon: With climate change and sustainability dominating the environmental landscape, there has been a lot of press in the last year or two about the energy transition. What exactly is the energy transition, and why is it so important? Continue Reading ›

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Industry_Podcast_cover-update-final-bottom-300x169In episode 17 of Industry Insights podcast, host Joel Simon and Christian Salaman discussed the changes the hotel and hospitality industry are undergoing.

Joel Simon: Christian, you have a really great practice with an emphasis on two industries, one of which seems relatively insulated by the unusual circumstances we’re facing today and the other which has been rocked pretty hard. It’s the second one I’d like to focus on today. Can you start us off with a brief discussion of the status of the hotel business and what a recovery might look like for that sector?

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