Behind on rent because of COVID-19 disruptions, tenants can get help to avoid eviction

Homeless advcocates say Louisville's eviction rate was already double the national average.
Updated: Jul. 21, 2020 at 6:20 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A moratorium imposed by Gov. Andy Beshear on evictions brought on by the COVID-19 crisis is still in effect, but renters are feeling the pressure.

“We have heard that there are thousands of evictions that are waiting to be processed,” Coalition For The Homeless Communications Director Catherine McGeeney said. “And then as soon as the governor says either we’re not in a state of emergency or evictions can proceed, there will be thousands of people who will be rushed through the court system and will be evicted.”

Tenants who are unable to pay their rent because of economic disruptions and job losses from COVID-19 are temporarily protected by the governor’s moratorium. Renters who are behind in their rent are advised to seek financial assistance.

“There’s also rental assistance available through the CARES Act your landlord can apply for,” said Ben Carter, an attorney with the Kentucky Equal Justice Center. “Part of that conversation with your landlord is telling him or her, or it if it’s a company, let’s get rental assistance.”

At the end of June, Carter said a coalition of relief organizations asked Beshear to continue the moratorium at least until Aug. 24, but did not receive a commitment.

COVID-19 caused widespread job losses and loss of income. Community assistance groups believe thousands in the city are now behind on their rent. Some estimates show rent delinquencies running two to three times higher than normal.

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