BOISE, Idaho — For people across the country struggling to pay rent, they'll now have another month where they'll be shielded from eviction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the federal eviction moratorium for 30 days, until July 31.
However, here in Idaho, non-profit Jesse Tree told KTVB that the moratorium hasn't helped many of those they serve. Despite the moratorium, they've seen many Idaho families still being summoned to eviction court.
This week, there are 20 eviction court hearings in Ada and Canyon County, according to Jesse Tree executive director Ali Rabe.
“There are less and less people particularly at a certain income level who can afford to live in our community. we're seeing so many people moving away from Ada County to Canyon or even further to Elmore, Owyhee counties, Payette County because they can’t afford to live here,” Rabe said.
The eviction moratorium is a federal guideline that states landlords are not supposed to evict tenants through the legal court process if they meet certain eligibility requirements. One of those requirements has tenants fill out a self-declaration form that explains their situation and the reasons surrounding their eviction, which need to be job-related, loss of income or health-related, which is something many renters may not be aware of.
Rabe also told KTVB that the moratorium guidance issued is broad and vague, making it difficult for judges to enforce.
“The moratorium has been in place since September, but unfortunately it hasn’t been enforced in Idaho courts,” Rabe said. “It's definitely been frustrating for our staff and case managers who come to work every day with a goal of keeping our neighbors housed and keeping people in their homes. It's frustrating to know that there are resources and protections out there that we just can’t quite access for people in the nick of time.”
Instead of using the moratorium to help renters facing eviction, Jesse Tree also tries to intervene with financial assistance so the landlord can get paid and the tenant can stay in their home.
“Unfortunately, though a lot of people at the point where they get to court, maybe the landlord is just fed up, it's too late for us to intervene with financial assistance the landlord just wants the tenant out and it's really difficult for us to resolve those cases,” Rabe said.
Jesse Tree has seen about 300 to 400 hearings in the Treasure Valley so far this year. The organization has been able to get about 50 of them dismissed by providing the tenants with financial assistance, according to Rabe.
“If someone receives a summons to evictions court, Jesse Tree will immediately assist them and connect them to one of our legal interns and case managers who will support them through the court process,” Rabe said.
For more information about the moratorium, click here.
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