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Plenty of assistance remains for local renters as eviction moratorium expires Saturday

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A nationwide moratorium on renter evictions will end Saturday, July 31, after Congress didn’t pass an 11th hour extension Friday.

President Joe Biden announced Thursday he’d allow the moratorium to end on Saturday rather than challenge a Supreme Court ruling. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday the CDC should extend the deadline, despite a Supreme Court warning that the CDC lacks authority to expand it without congressional action.

When the federal eviction moratorium does expire, state and local agencies want people to know there are still ways to get assistance.

It’s important for renters to know that the nationwide moratorium expiring does not necessarily guarantee they are left high and dry if they can’t afford to pay rent.

More than $270 million remains undistributed statewide in the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program (WERA), overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) using federal money.

“It’s always difficult to ask for help when you need it and I know that some folks may be reluctant, but its, there’s no strings attached to this money, it’s not money that you’re going to have to pay back,” said Tatyana Warrick, communications director for the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

Plus, larger communities in the state have separate funds for rental assistance. Almost $3 million is still available for Brown County residents through Northeast Wisconsin’s Community Action Program (Newcap).

“We haven’t struggled people getting to come in but we definitely need more people because we know that landlords aren’t getting rent, we know that people are struggling,” said Cheryl Detrick, president and CEO of Newcap.

Officials said there are several reasons why there’s still so much money left: Not everybody that needs help will reach out, some might not even be aware of these programs or realize they could potentially qualify, and then others might not know they have to reach out and fill out the forms on their own.

“Some folks who qualify for this program have not been eligible for other types of...help before, and so this, they may not know how to navigate the system,” said Warrick.

“If they get all their, get everything completed and get it into us, and we have all the verification documentation that we need and a landlord signs the forms, we cut checks twice a week,” Detrick said.

DOA officials said for a few months they’ve been working on an eviction data project for Wisconsin to efficiently reach the people who need it.

”And so we actually made sure the agencies are proactively reach out to folks who may be at risk of eviction, to make sure that they knew that help is available,” said Warrick.

Officials said it’s up to the renters to reach out if they need the help, people can’t apply for both of the programs, just in the county where they live.

For the state WERA program, click here.

To apply for Newcap’s program, click here.

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