Since September, most renters across the country have been protected from eviction, thanks to an unprecedented moratorium on the proceedings ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Now that ban will expire in less than a month, and millions of Americans could find eviction notices on their front doors.
“We’re going to see what we’ve been managing to stave off: this wave of evictions that is just going to crush some of these areas,” said John Pollock, coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel.
Yet there a handful of states that will continue to ban evictions beyond June 30.
New York has extended its eviction moratorium until September for tenants who’ve endured a Covid-related setback or for whom moving could pose a health risk. To qualify, renters must submit a hardship form to their landlord.
New Jersey won’t allow evictions to proceed until two months after its state of emergency status is lifted, which is expected to occur in mid-June, meaning most renters will likely be safe until at least sometime in August.
Most evictions in Vermont are barred until 30 days after its state of emergency concludes, which right now means struggling renters should be able to stay in their homes until the middle of July.
Although Oregon’s eviction ban lapses at the end of the month along with the CDC’s, renters can’t be evicted for rent owed between the months of April 2020 and June 2021, and they have until the end of February 2022 to make up those payments.
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Another way tenants may find themselves protected from eviction is if they received assistance from the $45 billion pot of money Congress allocated for struggling renters.
In at least 28 states, programs that give out these funds bar landlords from evicting tenants for at least the period they received assistance for, and in some cases for between 30 and 90 days afterwards, accordingto Andrew Aurand, vice president for research at the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Ask any program you received rental assistance from about your rights.
If you’re facing eviction, you can find low-cost or free legal help at Lawhelp.org. One study in New Orleans found that more than 65% of tenants with no legal representation were evicted, compared with just 15% of those who did have a lawyer with them at their hearing.
Last month, Washington became the first state to guarantee tenants facing eviction the right to counsel. Renters may soon be entitled to a lawyer in Maryland and Connecticut, too.
Are you at risk of eviction? If you’re willing to share your story for an upcoming article, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org