Federal eviction moratorium expires, thousands of Kansans now at risk

KSN Digital Extra

FILE – In this May 20, 2020, file photo, signs that read “No Job No Rent” hang from the windows of an apartment building during the coronavirus pandemic in Northwest Washington. The pandemic has shut housing courts and prompted authorities around the U.S. to initiate policies protecting renters from eviction. But not everyone is covered, and some landlords are turning to threats and harassment to force tenants out. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A federal moratorium which protected millions of renters from eviction expires Friday, July 24.

The CARES Act which started in late March provided protection for rental units that had federally backed mortgages from getting evicted if they were late on rent.

“We have been receiving hundreds of applications a week from people needing assistance to try and avoid eviction, we expect the demand for that program is going to increase,” said Wichita Housing & Community Services Director, Sally Stang.

The Urban Institute estimates that more than 12 million households or 30% of renters nationwide may be affected.

“We did see quite a few evictions coming through when the state moratorium was lifted, we expect we’re going to see quite a few more come Monday after this one is lifted,” said Stang.

Apartment Association of Greater Wichita Association Executive Ryan Farrell said if landlords are moving forward with evictions they can file as early as Saturday, but the process will still be at least 30 days out. He said it’s important for renters to communicate with landlords to try to come to an agreement.

Stang said Housing and Community Services have been providing emergency rent assistance for the last six weeks. In addition the section 8 voucher waiting list opened this week, which Stang said she anticipates housing authority will be able to help families fairly quickly. She said the application is still open and will remain open for the time being.

“There are several different agencies providing rent assistance,” said Stang. “If you get an eviction notice that quickly, you should contact these agencies that have funding for emergency rent assistance.”

United Way of the Plains said despite many organizations seeing a large influx in the number of people who need rental and utility assistance, there are still resources available.

“We’ve seen more of an increase this time this year with calls to rent as opposed to this same time frame last year,” said United Way of the Plains Call Center Coordinator, Heather Pierce. “A lot of people who are facing that possible eviction maybe for the first time in their lives and have no idea how that process works, or what they do and how they can get help that are calling us.”

Pierce said anyone who is having a hard time should call 211 to get resources that are available to help. The center is available 24 hours a day and can help with an array of services.

“If you know this is coming it’s better to call us sooner rather than later, don’t wait for that eviction notice to come, if you know its coming and you’re not going to be able to pay, call us now because agencies that can help are inundated right now. They want to help but it could be several days before they can get back to you.”

List of Agencies:

Organization:Phone:
United Way of the Plains(316) 267-1321
Salvation Army(316) 263-2769
Center for Hope(316) 267-0222

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