By Jasmine Payoute

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Supreme Court’s decision to block a federal eviction ban ended protection for an estimated 3-and-a-half million people in the United States.

With only three dissenting votes, a Supreme Court ruling allowed evictions to continue across the country.

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“It’s heartbreak, I don’t know what to say. The Supreme Court order is shameful for hundreds of millions of American families all across the country,” Councilmember Helen Gym said.

The decision blocks a temporary ban that was put in place due to the pandemic.

It comes just days before Philadelphia’s eviction moratorium expires on Aug. 31.

“You can see a lot of people taking advantage of the situation,” Gym said.

Gym says she worked to pass a bill that requires landlords to first apply for rental assistance then seek counseling before filing for an eviction.

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That diversion program that has worked for local landlords like Michael Amarian.

“I liked to say we provide great homes to great people. As a result of COVID, one of my tenants found herself in a position where she lost her job. She could no longer afford to pay her rent,” Amarian said.

In a town hall over Zoom hosted by the Philadelphia Black Clergy, Amarian spoke about how the process benefits both the landlord and tenants, regardless of what’s happening federally.

“We obtained the rental assistance. We were able to avoid the eviction proceedings,” he said.

For people outside of Philadelphia, things are a little different. Pennsylvania currently has no eviction moratorium in place.

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The Supreme Court’s ruling says in order for an eviction moratorium to proceed, Congress must specifically authorize it.

Jasmine Payoute