MILWAUKEE — With millions of Americans behind on their rent during the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is extending an order to prevent evictions.
The temporary ban now runs through June 30.
Kevin Turpel was furloughed from his sports medicine job, and he says if it weren't for the eviction moratorium, he thinks he'd be out of his home. He says he's getting help through the Rental Assistance Program.
"You’re not working full time, you’re not making your money that you have made, and it gets tough to pay your rent," Turpel said.
Colleen Foley with the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee said she appreciates the extension.
"We’ve been trying to be diligent in notifying people that they might be eligible for the protections, but nonetheless evictions continue every week," Foley said.
Foley shared data from Milwaukee County, and it shows there have been more than 530 eviction filings in the month of March. Of those, 152 filings came between March 22 and 26. The data shows there have been between 100 and 200 eviction filings each week since January. However, the data also shows there were fewer eviction filings in 2020 compared to 2018 and 2019.
You must qualify for the moratorium and you need to try to pay some partial rent payments, which advocates say can help landlords who are also struggling during this time.
"There are some that have gone a long time without rent and they’ve got mortgages and they’ve got their other expenses to pay, and they're having a tough time," said Heiner Giese, the legal counsel for the Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin.
Giese says his team isn't happy about the extension, but says they have been collaborating with the Rental Housing Resource Center, which is a network of housing assistance programs for renters and landlords in Milwaukee.
"We’ve just really urged our landlords to just be patient and try to work with tenants," Giese said.
Turpel says he's grateful for all the help he's gotten from different aid groups. Now he's thinking about how people are going to renew their leases.
"How in this environment are you going to find a new place? Especially when you exhausted over half your unemployment benefits, and you’re going to move in, and you're already relying on the RAP program," Turpel said.