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Renters across CT relieved as COVID-19 eviction ban that was set to expire is extended

Renters across Connecticut are breathing a sigh of relief as thousands of them will not get hit with eviction notices next week.

News 12 Staff

Aug 20, 2020, 9:37 PM

Updated 1,401 days ago

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Renters across Connecticut are breathing a sigh of relief as thousands of them will not get hit with eviction notices next week.
More than 100,000 renters were at risk of getting eviction notices starting Monday. But on Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont said he will extend the eviction freeze through Oct. 1.
When the COVID-19 outbreak began, Lamont banned landlords from evicting people. That ban was set to expire on Saturday.
"I just hope that we all can weather this storm," says Richard Blackwell, of Bridgeport, who lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but for now, will keep his home.
"Well, what you can't have, in the middle of this unemployment crisis, is a lot of people being evicted and a lot of people losing their homes," Lamont said.
Tenants, however, aren't the only victims.
"We have a responsibility to pay our bills, meaning the mortgages, the water, the sewer tax," said Fred Lupinacci, Blackwell's landlord who added that he can only let renters slide for so long.
Landlords can claim a grace period, but many have already run out of time.
"Tenants are very, very scared," said Erin Kemple, with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center. She said most landlords will work out a deal if their tenants are struggling to pay rent.
"When a landlord finishes an eviction at the end of a court hearing, and gets permission to be able to physically move the tenant out, that doesn't come with a check for back rent," Kemple said. "So, that's one of the reasons why I think there's an incentive for landlords to make an agreement with tenants to get some of what they're owed back again."
Blackwell, however, hasn't been able to pay in three months but now he'll have a fourth month.
"I have nowhere to go. I'll be homeless. I've got three kids and I have my wife," Blackwell added.
To help tenants and landlords out, Lamont said he is adding another $10 million in rental assistance, but housing groups said that money will probably run out in a few weeks.


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