Families in fear as COVID-19 eviction moratorium nears end

An eviction moratorium, set to expire at the end of December, is creating growing concerns for families around southeastern Wisconsin.

Countless families are fearful of losing their homes on Jan. 1, and hope the moratorium is extended.

"Pushing is coming to shove and it’s getting really tough out here," said Mary Cooper, who lives in the Milwaukee area.

Stress is growing for families, like Cooper's, who are on the verge of eviction.

"Without the moratorium, there isn’t any other way to save us, that I can figure out," Anne Brown, who lives near Eau Claire, said.

Brown shared her fears during a housing crisis roundtable.

"If the moratorium is not extended, we will be evicted in January," said Brown.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a temporary eviction moratorium from Sept. 4 through Dec. 31. It was designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 and keep those affected by the economic crisis from losing the roof over their heads.

"We’re seeing people in crisis. A lot of people that are not able to make their ends meet," said Deb Heffner with Community Advocates.

Community Advocates launched the Rental Housing Resource Center, helping renters and landlords maintain stable rental housing during this difficult time.

"Because the eviction moratorium is not a rent freeze, we have been encouraging those who have lost an income and are afraid they cannot make their rent to apply for rent assistance," Heffner said.

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Those impacted by the crisis are hoping leaders do more to assist those in need.

"An eviction stays with someone. Once you have it on your record, you can have landlords decline to you in the future. Not all but some," said Kathy Beeksma with Ashland Housing Authority.

Community Advocates said it can help you with rent assistance and communicate with your landlord should you need it.

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