Community Advocates help those in need pay back rent

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Posted at 5:47 AM, Aug 09, 2021

The new eviction moratorium extension made by the Centers for Disease Control, covers counties experiencing ’substantial’ or ‘high’ levels of COVID-19 spread.

According to a CDC transmission map, all of Southeast Wisconsin would be covered under this mandate. It will expire on Oct. 3, 2021.

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As of Aug. 3, 2021, CDC data shows 47 out of 72 counties in Wisconsin fall under this extension.

Here's the CDC transmission map of the entire United States:

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There are resources out there right now to help tenants pay back future rent. We met Milwaukee mother of four Naomi Wilkins, who benefited from applying for help from Community Advocates.

“You have to be determined you got to have motivation do not give up you got to keep telling yourself you got this and just think about your children,” said Wilkins.

The 30-year-old used that drive to get through this pandemic in March 2020. In March of 2020, the daycare she worked for had to close.

“I was giving my landlord 50 dollars here and there. She was like no you’re getting way behind now,” said Wilkins.

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It all turned around after she went to Community Advocates, which provides emergency rental assistance for qualifying families in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

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She qualified to have six months of back rent paid to her landlord in August of last year, “I was so happy I was crying.”

With that help Wilkins was all caught up, “I’m done I don’t owe any more money. I’m good now.”

That’s the outcome Deb Heffner, Housing Strategy Director of Community Advocates wants to continue to make. There are more federal dollars out there to get that help.

“We just got another $11 million that we’re working through right now. We believe it's going to be a need of up to $80 million dollars in the next couple of years to get through and keep people in their homes from this…based on our application queue and some people could potentially receive 15 months of assistance as well.”

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Community Advocates just opened a new rental housing resource center space. It is available to the public, by appointment only. Heffner showed us around, “When people walk in they feel calm and also treated with dignity.”

The space gives free computer access to those who schedule an appointment first.

She hopes renters and landlords alike use their services so when the eviction moratorium finally dries up, our community as a whole will rebound faster.

Watch Heffner explain the importance of both tenants and landlords being proactive and reaching out to organizations like theirs:

Web extra: Eviction moratorium

We understand this pandemic has created a huge dilemma for families and landlords.

Click here to learn more about the Community Advocates Rent Assistance Process.

You can also call their rent helpline at (414) 270-4646.

There is an entire list of advice to help landlords to work with their tenants during this COVID-19 crisis.

Click here to learn more.

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