Originally published: June 24, 2021
Eviction moratorium set to end soon- Here’s how to get help with rent
Omaha, NE — The CDC federal eviction moratorium is set to end on June 30th.
Experts are warning now is the time to get rental assistance if you need it.
There’s still a chance the federal eviction moratorium could be extended but if it’s not, there’s expected to be a lot of people who will need help paying their rent.
Luckily, there’s still a lot of help out there.
The first thing you’ll need to do is reach out and apply to the programs that are assisting.
Finding out which one you qualify for can be complicated but that’s where United Way’s 211 helpline comes in.
When it comes to navigating an eviction notice, It’s also important to know your rights as a tenant.
The federal CDC moratorium on evictions has protected some people from getting evicted.
Although if you’re not filling out the right paperwork, you could still be kicked out.
According to Legal Aid of Nebraska, 46 people are set to appear in eviction court in the next week in Douglas County.
That’s been the norm throughout the pandemic.
“There are people who don’t know to do this who are being evicted who would otherwise be protected. There are certainly landlords who are just disregarding the moratorium and the people who even have done this correctly and then there are evictions that don’t qualify for the protections under the moratorium,” says Scott Mertz, housing justice project director for Legal Aid of Nebraska.
If the moratorium does end, legal experts are predicting that number will go up.
The United Way of The Midlands reports over 4,000 people have called into its 211 helpline asking for rental help this month.
That’s the first step to getting assistance.
There are many programs still open, but the program you qualify for depends on where you live, what your specific needs are, and how much help you need.
For example: do you just need help with rent? Or do you need utility assistance too?
“Some of the things that we do is work with the community partners in Omaha which helps them sort through the application process so people actually know exactly what the pros of it, what the cons of it and can figure out exactly what part of the process that they fit into,” says Eddie Clark, with United Ways 211 line.
Another thing that’s important for tenants to keep in mind is to know their rights.
That’s where Legal Aid of Nebraska can help you out.
Mertz says, “Not every eviction notice that people receives is going to be legally enforceable, but people have to know that and know what options they have.”
While the moratorium may end soon, people in the non-profit realm say rental help will be here for a while.
“Obviously none of us have been through a pandemic before so we’re also meeting people where the need lies and we anticipate that funding will be here for the short term and the long term,” says Clark.
While the money may be here for a while, there’s also a backlog of people who need help, so experts advise the best time to apply for rental help is as soon as possible.
You can also text the united way helpline.
The texting number is 898211.
You can find additional resources on the Legal Aid of Nebraska’s website here.