The Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s Eviction Moratorium, which has kept thousands of Nebraska families impacted by COVID-19 in their homes over nearly the past year, was thrown out by the Supreme Court last week.
Effective immediately, this will have a devastating impact on thousands of Nebraskans struggling to pay rent and at risk of eviction. Legal Aid, Nebraska’s statewide provider of free civil legal services, wants these renters and their community supporters to know, despite that the moratorium was blocked by the Supreme Court, legal and financial help is available.
Legal Aid expects eviction filings in court to increase as the CDC moratorium is no longer in place. Scott Mertz, Managing Attorney of Legal Aid’s Housing Justice Project, says that there are other options for low-income families to stay in their homes as the state faces a rise in delta variant cases. “Even though the moratorium was thrown out, tenants facing eviction can use other legal rights and rental assistance to prevent evictions,” said Mertz.
Legal Aid of Nebraska is committed to protecting those who are at risk of eviction. “Having an attorney is critical in preventing evictions,” Mertz said.
Legal Aid emphasizes that there are still options for our vulnerable populations:
- Emergency Rental Assistance Program: Any individual who has been financially impacted by COVID-19 can apply for rental assistance through the appropriate provider. Funds can cover rental arrears and future rent, past due utilities, internet and cellphone services.
- Legal Aid of Nebraska’s Housing Justice Project: The Housing Justice Project is committed to promoting housing stability across the state. Our attorneys can provide a range of legal services, including eviction protection, preservation of housing, and homelessness prevention.
Legal Aid expects eviction filings in court to increase as the CDC moratorium lifts. Scott Mertz, Managing Attorney of Legal Aid’s Housing Justice Project, states that despite the CDC moratorium ending, tenants can use other legal rights and rental assistance to prevent evictions.
“Having an attorney is critical in preventing evictions.”
“Our Housing Justice Project focuses on preventing families from losing their homes. These Nebraskans have legal rights, but we know that having an attorney is critical in preventing evictions,” said Mertz. “Throughout the pandemic, Legal Aid attorneys across Nebraska have helped renters and their families stay in their homes. And even with the lifting of the moratorium, tenants at risk of being evicted can contact Legal Aid.”
Mertz emphasized that acting as soon as any problems with rent or a landlord come up is critical. “It is always best if a tenant reaches out to Legal Aid as soon as they realize that, due to being behind in rent, eviction is possible. We are here to help, and there are many ways tenants can work with landlords and the courts.”
As the eviction process moves swiftly in Nebraska, it’s crucial that we connect those at risk of eviction with our attorneys as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you are working with individuals or families at risk of eviction, please direct them to Legal Aid of Nebraska. Individuals can call Legal Aid of Nebraska to apply for services: COVID-19 Hotline: 1-844-268-5627.
Resources that are available to tenants, including how to apply for Legal Aid and how to access rental and utility financial assistance, along with a full listing of civil legal services offered through Legal Aid of Nebraska, can be found at our website: www.legalaidofnebraska.org