Omaha-metro renters hit hard by the pandemic face eviction

Renters across the Omaha-metro who are still trying to come back from the pandemic are no longer protected by the CDC’s eviction moratorium.
Published: Aug. 29, 2021 at 11:19 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Renters across the Metro who are still trying to comeback from the pandemic are no longer protected by the CDC’s eviction moratorium and local lawyers tell 6 News the evictions have already begun.

It changed overnight,” said Caitlin Cedfeldt, an attorney with Legal Aid of Nebraska. “I left work yesterday (Thursday) at 5 o’clock thinking a case I had this morning was going to dismissed on the bases of CDC,” said Cedfeldt, noting for the most the CDC’s moratorium has been holding up in Douglas County court.

“In fact we were debating whether my client should even come to court. It’s good think we told her to come,” she said.

Late Thursday night the Supreme Court ruled the CDC does not have the authority to issue an eviction moratorium without congressional approval. Meaning Friday morning Cedfeldt’s client faced eviction.

“She could have been put out today (Friday) because of that. We barely came up with way to prevent that,” said Cedfeldt, who managed to work out an agreement with the landlord to give her client a bit more time to get out.

With millions of dollars in rental assistance still available, those doling it out are hoping others can avoid the same fate.

“It’s never too late until the judge issues the order,” said Randy McCoy, Executive Director, MACCH, the non-profit helping the City of Omaha distribute its federal rent assistance.

McCoy points out that the funds offer landlords an alternative to eviction.

“The rental assistance does offer property owners a way to recoup the back rent that might be owned in some cases and help people get caught up and stay in their home,” said McCoy, urging landlords and tenants to get the application process underway because it can take several weeks.

In the meantime Legal Aid of Nebraska is urging people worried about eviction to reach out because they still may be able to help.

“Even simple cases are not simple which is why everyone who is facing eviction should reach out to Legal Aid of Nebraska or a volunteer lawyer program,” said Cedfeldt. “Or even just showing up in court is just so incredibly important because if you don’t take that step you’re definitely going to lose.”

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