coronavirus pandemic

‘We've Taken a Beating': Landlords Still Struggling Through Pandemic

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Earlier this month Gov. Ned Lamont extended the state's eviction moratorium until February 9, which is good for renters, but not so good for landlords.  

“The money is starting to come to a few of them but many of them, many of them are still waiting for money and are still waiting on processing,” John Souza, head of the CT Coalition of Property Owners, said. 

Souza said the Temporary Rental Housing Assistance Program has been helpful for landlords with tenants who have been cooperative. The program gives landlords up to $4,000 per household for families who have fallen behind in their rent since March.

“Some of the landlords I’ve spoken with are concerned $4,000 isnt enough to save the tenancy,” Souza said.

Some tenants are further behind in their rent and aren’t paying because they are protected by the eviction moratorium which ends February 9. Souza said some landlords would rather wait to evict their tenants than accept $4,000.

“Some are hesitating to do it because of the limit of $4,000,” Souza said.  

Some landlords still have mortgages and they have to pay taxes and keep up with a maintenance schedule. 

“We’ve taken a beating. A lot of these people have lost a lot of money,” Souza added. 

Rick Bush, a landlord in West Hartford, has 36 units and said his tenants are $22,000 behind in their rent. He helped them apply for the Temporary Rental Housing Assistance Program, but said he hasn’t seen any money yet. 

 “We’re blue collar people, we’re hardworking, we’ve invested our life savings,” Bush said. 

The state has used $19 million to help 5,500 families unable to pay their rent. The state is expected to receive an additional $237 million in rental assistance from the second federal coronavirus relief package. 

“As you know we’re very happy that we got additional resources from the federal government $237 million that also comes with new requirements, new guidelines," Housing Commissioner Selia Mosquera-Bruno said

The Department of Housing said it will come up with a plan for how to distribute the new funding by the end of January. 

“It would be nice if they could use some of federal money to help landlords who are going to be struggling through the summertime,” Bush said.

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