Wisconsin renters wary as eviction ban nears end – The Daily Reporter – WI Construction News & Bids – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-07-30 12:01:57 –

Housing activists put up a sign in Swampscott, Massachusetts in October 2020. The federal freeze on most peasant evictions will soon expire. The Moratorium, set up by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, was the only tool to keep millions of tenants at home. (AP Photo / Michael Dwyer, file)

Associated Press

Madison, Wisconsin (AP) —The federal freeze on most peasant evictions enacted last year will expire on Saturday after the Biden administration has extended its original date by a month.

The moratorium, implemented by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, was the only policy to keep millions of tenants at home. Many of them lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and their rents were delayed by several months.

The landlord successfully challenged the court order, claiming that he also had an invoice to pay. They pointed out that renters have access to nearly $ 47 billion in federal funds set aside to help pay rent and related costs.

Residents’ advocates said the distribution of money was slow and that more time was needed to distribute and repay the landlord. Without an extension, they feared the eviction of peasants and the surge in proceedings seeking to expel tenants who were late for their rent.

Despite the delay, about 3.6 million people in the United States will face evictions of peasants within the next two months, according to the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. The study measures the social and economic impact of a pandemic every two weeks through online responses from a representative sample of US households.

The status of Wisconsin is as follows.

What about the status of other peasant eviction moratoriums in the state?

Democratic Governor Tony Evers issued an order in March 2020 banning landlords from leaving tenants as the pandemic began. However, the order expired in May, and the State Supreme Court could not issue multiple emergency orders for one crisis and impose a moratorium on another state in March 2021. Said the governor’s office.

What is being done to help people face evictions?

The Evers administration has relied heavily on federal pandemic bailouts to help tenants achieve their goals. The administration has invested about $ 35 million from last year’s CARES Act to help about 13,000 tenants pay overdue rent and utilities. The support ended at the end of the year.

The Trump administration allocated approximately $ 385 million in rental assistance in Wisconsin in December. Approximately $ 65 million of that amount went directly to the state’s six most populous jurisdictions, the counties of Brown, Dane, Milwaukee and Milwaukee, and the cities of Madison and Milwaukee. The remaining money was allocated for the rest of the state.

So far this year, about $ 44 million has been paid to about 12,000 tenants in small communities. DOA secretary Joel Brennan said he didn’t know the exact figures for spending in the six metropolitan areas, but estimates that a total of about 20,000 tenants have received support since April this year.

Tenants who earn up to 80% of the median income of the county can apply for assistance through a local social organization that acts as a conduit between the state and residents. Money can be used to cover up to 15 months of rent.

The Biden administration has allocated an additional $ 250 million to rental aid in Wisconsin through the U.S. Rescue Planning Act, but the state has received only a small portion of that aid so far, Brennan said. ..

How does the court handle peasant eviction hearings?

The Wisconsin case, which provides free legal services to low-income earners, has twice called on the State Supreme Court to suspend all peasant eviction proceedings in the light of the CDC’s moratorium. A court under conservative control refused both times, stating in its latest dismissal in May that Congress, not the court, should decide whether to balance the peasant eviction procedure in favor of the tenant. Did.

How Affordable are Homes in the State’s Major Rental Markets?

Rents in the Milwaukee region are below the national average for the largest metropolitan areas, but rising. As of June, the median rent for two-bedroom apartments in the Milwaukee-Walkisha-West Allis metropolitan area was $ 1,599, 4.2% higher than last year, according to a July 15 report from .. This is below the national average of $ 1,770. The overall median apartment rental in the Milwaukee metropolitan area was $ 1,395, an increase of 3.3% from last year. The national average was $ 1,575.

Do you expect evictions of peasants to create a surge in homelessness?

Thousands of Wisconsin residents are afraid to be expelled soon, according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey released on July 5. Another 14,300 said they felt “somewhat likely” to be kicked out. Only about 12,000 of the respondents (less than half of those afraid of eviction) said they were hired. This survey did not analyze responses from specific metropolitan areas in Wisconsin.

Brennan said it’s difficult to predict how many people could lose their homes. The DOA set up a system to monitor court eviction declarations this spring, and the state hopes that local home defenders can contact tenants to inform them about government assistance, and will release the data locally. Share with home advocates.

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