The CDC’s nationwide eviction moratorium that was helping struggling tenants from being evicted expired July 31.
Florida families who are no longer protected are facing the prospect homelessness.
What You Need To Know
- The nationwide eviction moratorium expired after Congress failed to act
- Housing advocates warn of a wave of evictions and a looming homelessness crisis
- Previous coverage:
So, lawmakers and nonprofit organizations are working around the clock to try to help as many people as possible avoid that fate.
“We are expecting a dramatic increase in requests for assistance from tenants in Orange County," said Jay Mobley, who is the senior housing and consumer attorney for the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association.
He has heard his fair share of heartbreaking stories — especially when it comes to seniors who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
“That extra money made the difference between staying housed for the seniors and being homeless. And I think the hardest ones for me are those that have outlived most of their family and don’t have someone to fall back on.”
But Mobley says that’s only one part of what he’s been helping with.
“It really runs the gamut, from seniors, single individuals, to households with two parents and kids. It’s just sad across the board," he said.
State Representative Anna Eskamani says what’s even sadder is much of the $870 million in federal money devoted to helping with this cause never reached the people who need it most.
“Really this has been such a nightmare because we have been pushing, pushing, pushing for rental assistance dollars to get to Floridians," Eskamani said. "We just learned this weekend the state of Florida has only released 2% of funding from the state program.”
Her advocacy has involved working with both landlords and tenants to fight for tenants to keep a roof over their heads — but also to let them know how to move forward in the face of an uncertain future.
For those who need help in the coming days, Mobley says he has assembled an army to fight for them.
“We’ve probably got 50 or more attorneys on standby ready for this wave of folks that need assistance, and understanding their rights as they move forward. So we are geared up and ready to go," he said.
Mobley says if you’re facing eviction, the worst thing you can do is nothing.
He encourages Orange County residents to look up the status of their case on myorangeclerk.org and try to work with their landlord to figure out a rental assistance plan.
The Legal Aid Society has a number of clinics coming up this month to help those facing eviction, as well.