Federal eviction moratorium expires July 25, shelters concerned about future needs

SOMERSET CO., Md. – The federal eviction moratorium is set to expire on Saturday. It was put in place as part of the CARES Act, to protect people who lose their jobs due to the pandemic and can’t pay rent. However, now shelters on the shore are concerned they may not have enough resources to meet future needs.

“They have indicated we can file failure to pay notices to the courts and what they will do is date stamp them but then again the backlog is probably going to be quite tremendous ,” says Don Bibb with the City of Crisfield Housing Authority, Wicomico County Housing Authority and Housing Commission of Talbot County.

The federal temporary moratorium on evictions is set to expire on Saturday, July 25th. Officials say subsidized housing authorities will still be able to work with tenants. “If someone has lost hours or a job due to COVID-19 we have automatically made an adjustment to their rent so they are not paying any more than 30 percent of their adjusted household income,” says Bibb.

However, officials tell 47 ABC other rental properties may not be as accommodating. “The private landlords on the other hand some of them are mom and pop, some of them are large corporations that have tax credit properties. They have a contract rent,” says Bibb.

The executive director of the Lower Shore Shelter in Princess Anne says they’re worried about a possible increase in demand for their housing and employment services. “We anticipate there will be quite a few evictions which will lead to homelessness. We are really concerned about the number of beds and the occupancy that we have, that we will be able to help these folks,” says Joyce Cottman, the executive director of the Lower Shore Shelter.

Cottoman says the shelter is already low on funding. So the combination of unemployment, the moratorium being lifted and COVID-19 is causing a ripple effect for people who are already homeless as well as those on the brink of homelessness.

“I think if things don’t open up soon, their stay is going to be longer because we’re not going to be able to provide the services,” says Cottman.

On Monday, United States Senators Chris Van Hollen, Tom Carper and others wrote a letter to the Trump Administration asking them to keep these eviction moratoriums in place. They estimate 32 percent of renters were not about to make payments this month. They’re urging federal officials to continue to help families – facing housing insecurity due to the pandemic.

Categories: Local News, Maryland