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Eviction moratorium extended another 30 days, giving tenants more time to catch up on rent

Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 6:26 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Part of the COVID-19 stimulus package just signed into law is a 30 day extension on the moratorium on evictions. This means someone who is struggling to pay rent has another month to catch up.

Community Action, which offers tenant support services, said that’s the role the moratorium has played.

“It’s given people a bit more time,” Neva Winkle, tenant support specialist for Community Action said.

Because of the moratorium, evictions in Lancaster County are down.

This year so far, the Lancaster County Sheriffs Office has carried out 84 evictions. Compared to 171 in 2019, that’s a decline of nearly 50%.

While this has helped some tenants, its put property owners in a tough position.

“We don’t want to evict people but our mortgage payments, our taxes, insurance payments, our expenses are still here,” Brent Williams, president of the Excel Development Group said.

Excel Development Group owns and manages low income housing facilities in four states, including Nebraska. Williams said they’ve spent the year working closely with tenants struggling to pay.

“We’re doing everything we can, we don’t want to evict people that’s a lose-lose situation for everybody,” Williams said. “But for those few who have decided not to pay rent when it comes time for them to find a new place to live they’ll have a hard time.”

He said there are those who are genuinely struggling because of the pandemic.

“When the extra $600 unemployment went away and the stimulus money went away that’s when we started seeing a lot higher rate of tenants not paying rent, not having the ability to pay rent,” Williams said.

His advice for those struggling with their rent is to communicate with your landlord.

“Work with us, we want to keep them in their unit, we want to help them find ways to pay rent,” Williams said.

Community Action also encourages tenants to seek assistance from non-profits as well.

“I think sometimes it can be hard for us as individuals to ask people for help but there’s no shame in doing so,” Winkle said.

Learn more about the resources Community Action provides here.

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