Landlords are breathing a sigh of relief that Connecticut's eviction moratorium is ending later this week, but housing advocates worry it will mean more people end up homeless.
“Fifteen months now, landlords have been asked to bear the burden without a lot of help up until this point,” John Souza said.
Souza, head of the CT Coalition of Property Owners, said they aren’t looking to evict anyone if they don’t have to, but landlords also have to get paid. He said some tenants have taken advantage of the situation and haven’t paid.
"They're taking the extra time to really look at people's backgrounds extensively and make sure if they can afford it. It's unfortunate, but let's be realistic, if you've been burned pretty bad that's the way you're going to behave," Souza said.
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Housing advocates like Erin Kemple worry about what will happen later this week when Connecticut's moratorium expires.
“More tenants will believe that they have to leave,” Kemple said.
Kemple said they’re worried that tenants who get notices to go to court will not take them seriously.
“We don’t think that on July 2, you’re going to see a lot of people with their bags dragging behind them looking for shelter, but it’s going to start down that road,” Kemple said.
The eviction process can take up to three weeks; she said that is not long enough for the safety net to help them.
Connecticut is using $235 million in federal funds to help provide rental assistance to those who have fallen behind during the pandemic.
“The Department of Housing over the last month has been able to take care of more of those tenant landlord disputes. Our court systems are opening up now,” Gov. Ned Lamont said.
The program is still accepting applications.
“The number of people who have cases filed against them and the number of people who are receiving Unite CT is almost the same,” Kemple said.