By Katherine Garcia
OMAHA, Nebraska (KETV, KETV-D2) — The federal eviction moratorium expired at midnight Saturday, leaving several renters with questions on what to do next.
But local housing advocates say the urgent need for rental assistance is unwavering as the pandemic carries on. The help is still available.
Many renters could find themselves moving through the court system this month as evictions are filed.
But one local organization says there’s still help to keep the roof over their heads.
The expiration of the eviction moratorium could have a huge impact here locally.
“Starting here in August and September, we will be seeing thousands of evictions that would have occurred but for the moratorium start to roll out in the next few months,” Milo Mumgaard, executive director of Legal Aid of Nebraska said.
But before that happens, Legal Aid of Nebraska wants people to know there are options.
“Letting people know that in fact, there continues to be legal right and most importantly, there continues to be opportunity through the rental assistance program,” Mumgaard said.
That’s where MACCH steps in.
This spring, Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless or MACCH was chosen as a third-party by the city of Omaha to disperse tens of millions of dollars to those in need of rental assistance.
They’re currently dividing the $22 million of federal aid to renters who qualify right now.
Those renters have to prove they were financially impacted by the pandemic to receive up to a year of assistance.
Randy McCoy, the executive director said the need is so high, they’re giving out roughly $1 million in rental assistance each week.
“I don’t think we have a really good sense on yet is how many people were solely relying on that eviction moratorium and not applying for assistance during the course of the year,” McCoy said.
If it comes down to eviction, deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will be the ones to knock on your door.
But Chief Deputy Wayne Hudson said they try to give the renter time before issuing a notice.
“The homeowner will let the person know who is renting the place, let them know they have to leave the property, at that point they have 30 days before they go to the court, when the judge signs the order for eviction, we have 10 days to serve the order and return it to the court,” Hudson said.
MACCH said it’s better to apply for assistance right now, because the process can take several weeks.
If the pandemic put you behind on rent, there are ways you can get help right now.
In Douglas County, start at copeinfo.org.
Some programs will connect landlords to that assistance.
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