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Evictions Loom As COVID Surges

Associated Press

Housing advocates protest in New York on Wednesday in opposition to the lifting of eviction bans imposed during the pandemic.

Amid a resurgent pandemic, some Nevadans face additional uncertainty over where they’re going to live when evictions and foreclosures resume.

The federal government backtracked this week and reimposed an eviction moratorium that had expired over the weekend. 

The two-month extension will delay — not prevent — a reckoning for those behind on rent or mortgage payments.

Barbara Buckley, who assists tenants as head of the nonprofit Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, said those with housing issues are likely facing other challenges as well.

“There's a lot of people who have never been unemployed before, so the anxiety level is off the chart,” she said. “These are families that have the same problems that all of us have. That family may be facing someone in their household with cancer. With COVID. The car might be breaking down, the air conditioning may be breaking down.

“The tensions and anxiety these families face just cannot be overstated.”

Buckley said her organization provides a tool kit for those suffering economically from the pandemic, including renters.

Clark County is also providing online assistance to those facing eviction.

“We've been able to help about almost 30,000 households with rental assistance to date through our CHAPS portal,” said Tim Burch, administrator of Human Services for Clark County. “And we know that's just a drop in the bucket of the need in our community.”

Buckley said too many renters ignore eviction notices because they think they are protected by the federal moratorium.

“There's a better path, and that path is: respond to your eviction notice, apply for rental assistance, elect and attend mediation, and call for legal help and advice,” she told State of Nevada. “Don't ignore a notice. Don't rely on the CDC moratorium. Tenants need to take action.”

Barbara Buckley, executive director, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada; Tim Burch, administrator of Human Services, Clark County 

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Dave Berns, now a producer for State of Nevada, recently returned to KNPR after having previously worked for the station from 2005 to 2009.