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Relief bill extends eviction moratorium

Posted at 5:30 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 19:30:41-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The eviction moratorium will hold for at least on more month.

“If you literally just flipped the switch and said evictions are back on you’d be talking about billions of dollars in unpaid rent,” said Real Estate Attorney Adam Weisman. Weisman says the COVID Relief bill being passed was crucial for renters across Arizona and the United States.

“There’s a number of people who have been evicted and the evictions are on hold because of the CDC moratorium,” he said. “There are other people whose evictions haven’t actually occurred, but they are in the pipeline to happen.”

The Pima County Constables Office says around 3,500 people in the county face evictions when the moratorium ends. The bill also provides funding for rental assistance. Nearly $500 million is expected to be dispersed in Arizona over the next 30 days. Weisman says that’s an important part of the equation for landlord expenses and the economy as a whole.

“If the landlords aren’t getting paid by the tenants then the mortgages and many other costs the landlords have aren’t getting paid and you have a market problem.”

Affordable housing advocate and Barrio Neighborhood Spokesperson Roxanna Valenzuela says people are still falling through the cracks with the current CDC eviction moratorium.

“Landlords are harassing tenants or finding ways to kick them out of their homes, so if tenants can’t afford to pay the rent, they can’t afford an attorney,” said Valenzuela.

Weisman says the relief bill buys a little more time to sort out the crisis.

“Eventually there’s going to have to be a more focused bill addressing how we put back together the broken puzzle pieces of tenancy, residential tenancy in America,” he said.