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Evictions on the rise in Alabama

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 3:56 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - An advocacy group for low-income residents said say they fully expect evictions will resume in Alabama. In fact, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Shera Grant said her court is swapped with old and new cases.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down the eviction moratorium because of the impact of the pandemic.

For renters, we know there is rental assistance still available. The key is convincing your landlord to hold off evicting you until the financial aid arrives.

Some states have been slow to distribute the financial help for those facing losing their homes because they are behind on paying the rent. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the moratorium, those eviction notices that have already been filed can start moving forward again.

”A lot of jurisdictions had allowed the filing of cases even during the moratorium, but simply hadn’t taken any action on them,” Dev Wakeley, Policy Analyst with Alabama Arise said.

Wakeley said they are seeing more evictions. So what are some choices for those who are facing evictions? Wakeley would like to see Congress or even Governor Ivey reinstate the eviction ban, but he added that is unlikely.

“We would like to see the courts take action and decide these cases need to be de-prioritized. Especially where the renter is going through the application for emergency rental assistance,” Wakeley said.

He said the application process is bogged down in red tape. Wakeley strongly suggests that renters get legal representation. Go to Legal Services Alabama. The policy analyst said this organization represents more people facing evictions than anyone in the state.

“If the landlord files for eviction and evicts that person, you are never going to see that money. You can’t get the money for rental assistance if you evicted the person who needs it,” Wakeley said.

Wakely said there is no guarantee the next renter won’t behind on paying the rent.

He said the program is just for renters, but he believes there should also be help for those who need mortgage assistance. The city of Birmingham has already said they cannot stop evictions. There is no law to protect these folks if a landlord pushes these eviction notices in court.

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