Celebration Mixed with Reality Over Newly Extended Eviction Moratorium

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Washington, D.C. (KTAL/KMSS) –  Just when landlords thought they would be able to start evicting their tenants for unpaid rent, the eviction moratorium was extended. Celebration began to mix with reality as communities understand that in just 7 weeks the newly extended federal eviction moratorium will be over. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initially issued this eviction ban last September to prevent people with financial hardship from being evicted during the pandemic.

Verni Howard, Executive Director Of Providence House, worries that with each extension, it will take people longer to respond and react.

“I think we are kicking the can further down the road,” Howard said.

Despite the extension, Howard wants to be sure the Shreveport community is ready for when there isn’t an extension.

“We’re trying to push you right now to respond so that when October 3rd arrives, we are ready and families are sufficient,” Howard said.

Howard said one of the things they’ve been doing is getting individuals the certifications they need to get back into the workforce because they fully anticipate the ban to be lifted.

Local Organizations alongside Providence House, Catholic Charities, is staying focused and doing whatever they can to keep a roof over the communities head.

Carl Piehl, Director of Financial Stability for Catholic Charities of North Louisiana, said these are numbers like they’ve never seen before.

The current task is to match landlords and tenants with allocated rental assistance funds, awaiting distribution.

“We’re dealing with a lot of tenants with tremendous fear and anxiety and landlords with anger,” Peihl said.

Peihl and Howard said they understand both sides.

Piehl said he knows everyone is doing the best they can but for some reason, those funds have not been able to move quick enough.

“If we can get those landlords to hang in there just a little longer and to get these state municipalities to just work a little harder, I think we can get through it,” Peihl said .

According to Howard, Caddo Parish received 14 million dollars to help people catch up on their rent.

“This is all a question about getting those funds out,” Piehl said.

“The documentations we were asking them to provide would have made the tenant and landlord whole,” Howard said.

Some of the documentation included an identification card, birth certificate, and a social security card.

According to Diane Yentel, President And CEO Of The National Low Income Housing Coalition, some of those documentations are not so easy.

“This slows down the process for everybody, and it often has the effect of weeding out some of the lowest income and most marginalized people who can’t produce that documentation,” Yentel said.

Providence House still has homeless prevention funding for the community of about 50,000 dollars. To find out more on what’s needed to obtain these funds call Providence House at 318- 221-7887.

Providence House encourages those without a birth certificate to still give a call.

Even with facing another looming deadline amid the ongoing pandemic, both organizations say that failure is not an option.

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