Administration Seeks to Blunt Effects From End of Eviction Moratorium
Some attorneys said they didn’t necessarily expect a deluge of new business all at once, but predicted a steady increase over the weeks – with wide variations depending on state, or even county, where lives a tenant.
“I was in court in Mecklenburg County this morning, and the judges were taking eviction cases today,” said Isaac Sturgill, a housing lawyer with North Carolina Legal Aid. , referring to the county that contains Charlotte. “But it can be very different depending on which county you are in.”
In Ohio, housing court judges in some counties have long acted as if the CDC’s moratorium never happened. In Cincinnati, some judges this spring began allowing landlords to evict tenants for non-payment of rent, after a federal judge ruled the CDC’s moratorium unconstitutional.
These judges only began to suspend evictions after the Supreme Court in June rejected a landlord challenge against the moratorium.
“The evictions have been going on and on for the past few months,” said Nicholas DiNardo, managing counsel for the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, which includes Cincinnati. He said court records for evictions were filling up again quickly, with about 75 cases per day in Cincinnati for the next three weeks.
But a chronic complaint from legal aid lawyers and landlords is that the rent assistance application process is too cumbersome and that Washington has underestimated the negative effect of creating a laborious process intended to fight against fraud.
In Jacksonville, Florida, there is a backlog of several thousand rent assistance applications, making it difficult for other tenants facing eviction to seek help.
“There was not enough thought given to the time needed to process these requests, and there weren’t enough trained staff,” said Mary DeVries, Housing Unit Manager for Area Legal Aid. Jacksonville.
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