WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The eviction moratorium is over, and that means some families could lose their homes. But if they’re looking for a new place to live, they could have another problem.
KSN spoke with some housing experts and they didn’t mince words. There is high demand right now to find affordable housing and the eviction moratorium could end up driving up the price of the market even more.
“Sometimes, you feel like you’re Scrooge, or this land baron or something,” said Cynthia Wilson.
For the past 11 years, Wilson was a landlord, after she inherited property in Illinois.
“I decided to lower the price because I wanted someone to like the house and the price,” said Wilson.
Wilson also made this decision to limit her trips to the Land of Lincoln. But then the pandemic hit, and her tenants got months behind on their rent which amounted to thousands of dollars. This situation put her in a financial bind.
“I didn’t count on those programs, so what was I going to do,” said Wilson. “And what I decided to do, was sell the house.”
While her tenants still owed her money, she ended up walking away with some profit, and with fewer headaches.
“We know that it’s vital that landlords receive this essential rental income, so they can manage their operations,” said Emily Sharp, from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC).
The non-profit’s emergency rental assistance program is now open. This includes help for both the tenant and the landlord who are struggling to pay housing and utility bills.
“We know that this is a crisis,” said Sharp. “We already had a shortage of quality affordable housing across our state even before the pandemic, and Covid-19 has made a problem a crisis.”
But not everybody knows about the assistance that’s available. Senior managing editor of Rent.Com, Brian Carberry warns, since the demand for affordable apartments was already rising before the eviction moratorium expired, it could put an even bigger demand on affordable housing.
“Have the best rental application you can in terms of credit check your backgrounds, references, a lot of places aren’t even asking for references right now because they’re just getting so many people, and they’re going to go by credit score alone,” said Carberry.