Millions of struggling renters will likely be protected from eviction — at least for another month.
The stimulus bill that was passed by Congress late Monday night would extend a national ban on evictions until Jan. 31. The package would also provide $25 billion in emergency rental assistance. But the relief bill still needs to be signed by President Trump.
But, should the package go through, neither of the measures will likely be enough to keep the most at-risk renters in their homes past January.
Struggling to stay afloat
Kelly Green, who lives in a $1,429-a-month apartment in Daytona Beach, Florida, has not been able to pay rent since September.
“The only reason I have a roof over my head is because of the eviction moratorium,” Green said.
Green makes her living selling rhinestone- and sequined-biker apparel at motorcycle rallies and other festivals.
After the shutdown in March, there were no festivals, no events and she had no income. Still, she cobbled together her savings, stimulus payment, rent relief and unemployment insurance payments and managed to get current on her rent through July. But she didn’t know how she’d make ends meet after the $600 a week supplemental unemployment support ended.
Green heard about a coronavirus-related rent relief fund offered by Volusia County, where she lives. She applied for assistance and was awarded $4,500 for three months’ rent.
But there was a snag: The Volusia County rent assistance program requires tenants to have been current on rent as of March 13, 2020. Green was behind on her rent in February and, as a result, her apartment complex wouldn’t accept the aid.
Without that money, Green was unable to pay full rent for October, November or December. And since she overstayed her lease in November, she’s now on a month-to-month lease that is $500 more expensive a month.
“Even if the moratorium is extended, money is piling up against me,” she said. “What would help me the most is if I receive a check for rental assistance for three months, that they take it.”
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