NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)- Like thousands of renters in New Orleans, Delaney Nolan applied for assistance to help pay her rent.
According to Nolan, “I applied because I got furloughed from my job in the beginning of February this year, and I applied for rental assistance at the end of February because I didn’t have a job and I also wasn’t receiving unemployment because the state had bungled that.”
The CDC moratorium set to expire at midnight July 31st, and has been a bit of a safety net, but many are predicting calamity without that net.
Clerk of Civil District Court Austin Badon has almost 500 evictions set to roll starting Monday. This week Badon’s office has heard from frantic renters and landlords alike about how the end of the moratorium will affect them.
Badon says, “I was on the phone with the CDC and they pretty much told me that this is it. They see and they hear no dialogue as far as extending the moratorium.”
And while it will take months to process so many evictions, Badon cautions any renter from taking it easy.
“You could be in the first part of that set and find yourself subject to eviction in as little as 24 hours,” said Badon.
Christophe Bajewski is a landlord attorney specializing in evictions and he says while moratorium has kept a roof over the heads of people who can’t pay their rent, it’s been a financial hardship for many landlords.
Badjewski told WGNO, “The larger landlords surely they’ve felt the pinch but they still have plenty of income coming in. The smaller guys, if they only have 2 or 3 rental houses, and 2 or 3 rental houses aren’t paying any rent whatsoever, they’re scared they’re going to lose they’re retirement or they’re losing all of their income.”
The social safety net for both landlords and renters was supposed be the federal rental assistance in the COVID aid packages, but getting that money into the hands of people that desperately need it has been too slow and weighed down by bureaucracy.