Ricketts' order postpones evictions for residents impacted by COVID-19

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts on Wednesday issued an executive order providing temporary halt to evictions for those residents whose job status has been affected by coronavirus.

The order covers any rent nonpayment that accrued on or after March 13 by tenants who can prove to their landlord that:

  • They have suffered a substantial loss of income resulting from COVID-19. That covers those lost their job, had their work hours reduced, or those whose place of employment closed.
  • They have missed work to care for a relative or a child because their school or childcare facility was affected by COVID-19.

DOCUMENT: Gov. Pete Rickett's tweeted a copy of his executive order on evictions

The order mandates landlords to defer eviction notices for those in the above circumstances to May 31, but only for nonpayment. Landlords are still allowed to move forward with evictions due to criminal conduct, vandalism, or material noncompliance by the tenant, according to the order.

The order also protects those who may have themselves or know someone with coronavirus — confirmed or not — from being evicted.

Tenants must still pay rent or make arrangements with their landords to do so, the order states.

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The order, which expires on May 31 unless further extended by the governor, comes a day after Omaha and Douglas County sent letters to more than 3,000 area landlords asking them to forgive or suspect eviction on tenants affected by coronavirus.

The Apartment Association of Nebraska said in a news release Wednesday that it and the National Multifamily Housing Council have recommended to its members that, during the COVID-19 crisis, they:

  • Put a 90-day halt on any evictions that are due to financial hardship
  • Waive late fees
  • Accept partial payments and develop payment plans for delinquent tenants
  • Help tenants find available governemt and community resources
  • Develop response plans for potential COVID-19 expoure for employees and residents

"The COVID-19 virus will have an unprecedented economic impact on our members and residents alike," the AAN release states. "We believe it is vitally important for each of us to do what we can to help our neighbor. The AAN is prepared to take whatever steps it can to keep our residents in their homes."