Eviction protections ending Saturday

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 11:02 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Thursday President Biden said he will let the federal eviction moratorium expire. It’s a program that has helped people stay in their homes during the financial hardships brought on by the pandemic. But, if you still need help paying your rent, you still have some options.

News 10 spoke with a landlord who had advice on what to do if you’re facing eviction.

With the federal eviction moratorium coming to an end on Saturday, many are hoping their quiet neighborhoods and apartment complexes don’t become even more quiet because of people getting kicked out of their homes.

President of Estate Planning and Preservation Dawn Marie Joseph says she doesn’t foresee a spike in homelessness after the moratorium is lifted. As a landlord herself, she says not helping your struggling tenants is bad for business.

“Landlords want to get paid,” Joseph said. “Property owners want to get paid. Property owners don’t want to throw tenants out. They’re in business to rent out property.”

Rikkie Reynolds is a member of the Lansing tenants union who provides support for those facing eviction. She says she’s helped a number of people who were evicted for falling behind on the rent even with the moratorium in place. She says she would like to see more support at the state level.

“One thing I think a lot of us really learned about these moritoria and pandemic is these little, tiny protections they’ve allowed aren’t enough,” Reynolds said. “I think in general we can’t expect that the state-- even with a progressive governor-- is always going to stand up to the power of landlords and business owners to defend the safety and basic human rights of working people in Michigan.”

Joseph says it comes down to communication. If a landlord isn’t aware of the struggle and hasn’t been able to make some sort of agreement with the tenant, it can become a lose-lose situation.

Joseph said, “You have to talk to the property owner. Make contact with them so you can work out a solution for it.”

Dawn Marie Joseph says there are a number of programs people can sign up for that will help.

One of which is COVID Emergency Rental Assistance, available through the state of Michigan.

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