Undercurrent

Following CDC announcement, state extends eviction moratorium

By: - March 30, 2021 4:55 pm
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After the state’s moratorium expires, eviction case filings can proceed in the courts but tenants won’t be evicted until after the CDC’s order expires. (Image by Mario Schmidt from Pixabay)

green door
After the state’s moratorium expires, eviction case filings can proceed in the courts but tenants won’t be evicted until after the CDC’s order expires. (Image by Mario Schmidt from Pixabay)

Gov Steve Sisolak is extending the state’s eviction moratorium through the end of May, a month less than the federal moratorium, and won’t adjust it again when the two months are up. 

Sisolak’s announcement Tuesday comes a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended federal protections until June 30. 

“The CDC order, out of necessity, is broad and applies nationwide,” Sisolak said. “In reality however, every state’s eviction laws are different with different eviction notices and court procedures. That’s why our state eviction moratorium is so important during this transition period. It will continue to provide clear direction to courts eliminating much of the confusion and burden on judicial resources. It will help keep eligible tenants housed.”

Though the state’s protections were set to expire March 31, the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada said some landlords “got a jump” on the eviction process and sent tenants notices

After the state’s moratorium expires, Sisolak said eviction case filings can proceed in the courts but tenants won’t be evicted until after the CDC’s order expires. 

The moratorium isn’t automatic and requires eligible tenants to submit a declaration to their landlord. According to the directive, which went into effect in December, “covered tenants” include people who have been laid off or had loss of income, earn less than $99,000 and are at risk of homelessness if an eviction proceeds. 

“Today’s extension comes with an additional requirement,” Sisolak said. “When landlords provide notices to tenants during this time period, they must also include information on available rental assistance programs and how tenants can access them.”

In addition to rental assistance programs, the state created an eviction mediation program run by Home Means Nevada, a nonprofit established by the Nevada Division of Business and Industry. 

Labor Commissioner Shannon Chambers, who is president of Home Means Nevada, said Tuesday estimated there are more than 3,500 eviction cases currently in Clark County courts.

“I have seen data that shows it’s anywhere between 5 and 7 percent of residents potentially facing evictions in Clark County alone,” Chambers said. 

Sisolak said he hadn’t intended to extend the moratorium. 

However, he hopes the time allows for existing and incoming rental assistance to be disseminated to tenants who are behind on rent and at risk of eviction. 

Since July, the County has used federal dollars to help more than 22,500 households with rent or mortgage assistance.

Kevin Schiller, the assistant county manager with Clark County who spoke alongside Sisolak, said the county is expected to receive an additional $161 million in rental assistance, which could help an estimated 20,000 households. 

The County is also dealing with a current backlog of nearly 20,000 applications. 

Schiller said the County can process about 2,300 applications per week, an increase from the projected 1,700 applications per week he indicated at a March 17 town hall.  

Chambers added the extra time could also help those tenants who have received eviction notices get rental assistance.

For more information, visit the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada Covid resource page or call its eviction hotline at 702-386-1070. 

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.

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