CARSON CITY (KTNV) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak held a press conference on Tuesday to provide an update on the state's eviction moratorium.
During a Zoom call with the media, Gov. Sisolak announced the state's eviction moratorium would be extended for 60 days.
The governor says he made the decision to extend the current eviction moratorium at the state level in order to give the counties, specifically Clark County, the courts and other stakeholders much-needed time to develop and implement procedures and processes to get rental assistance funds to landlords on behalf of tenants and ramp up the eviction mediation program.
The governor’s office says it has been working closely with the courts, state housing, stakeholders, and Clark County to develop this plan.
"This is the last extension," the governor said, stating that the court process for evictions can start in 60 days, and due to the CDC moratorium the evictions can't take place till that moratorium ends on June 30.
"Help is available for those in need, but only if they know about it. I have asked stakeholders across the state to increase efforts to inform the public on available rental assistance to ensure Nevadans can stay in their homes and landlords can get the money they are owed," said Sisolak.
CHAP HOUSING ASSISTANCE UPDATE
The Clark County Director of Public Communications, Erik R. Pappa, says the county is expecting about "$129 million in additional funding for this second assistance program from the state and neighboring cities."
"The combined $161 million is expected to be enough to help 40,000 households," he said.
To apply for housing assistance via the CARES Housing Assistance Program, known as CHAP, visit CHAP.ClarkCountynv.gov.
Read the full statement from the county below:
CHAP is accepting applications and processing them according to all the new federal rental assistance grant rules that became effective in the new year. Individuals needing assistance are encouraged to apply at chap.clarkcountynv.gov. Since July, the County has helped more than 22,500 households with rent or mortgage assistance through federally funded grant programs. Most of these residents were assisted through the $97 million set aside for our first assistance program. When this initial assistance program ran out of money in December, there were still about 12,000 households with pending applications. With a second round of federal grant funding coming, County officials decided to carry over those 12,000 applications to the new program. The new Emergency Rent Assistance Program 2021 has more stringent eligibility and documentation requirements and restrictions and required us to update the portal and case management system to be compliant with the new legislation eligibility requirements. In late January and early February, we received $32 million for this new program and the guidelines on how it could be used. We have processed almost 5,000 applications manually under the new program since then. We launched the updated CHAP portal on Monday, March 22. We are now able to process CHAP applications at a faster pace and have plans to increase the number of application processors to further improve our application processing speed. Also, we never stopped allowing residents to submit applications and we now have about 23,500 applications pending. We are expecting about $129 million in additional funding for this second assistance program from the state and neighboring cities. The combined $161 million is expected to be enough to help 40,000 households.
LEGAL AID CENTER RESPONSE
A staff attorney at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, which provides free legal aid to low-income tenants facing eviction, says the governor's announcement is welcome news for renters and tenants, but she is concerned about a wave of evictions when the state and federal moratoriums run out this summer.
"We would tell tenants, 'If you get an eviction notice, make sure to file an answer with the courts to preserve your rights,'" the nonprofit advises.
"If you believe you're a covered person under the CDC's order and the governor's moratorium/directive," continued the attorney, "it's important to take action by giving your landlord a declaration and this just shows you're a covered person and you're eligible for these protections."
NEVADA APARTMENT ASSOCIATION RESPONSE
The Nevada State Apartment Association issued the following statement from NVSAA Executive Director Susy Vasquez about Gov. Sisolak’s announcement:
“While we hoped Gov. Sisolak would allow the eviction moratorium to expire, our statewide association understand the need to extend the date given the rent assistance situation. Landlords are in need of their rent payments to operate these communities and the continuation of nonpayment impacts not only the operators but small business owners, service providers, product suppliers and trades.
The association realizes the 60-day extension will allow for preparation for rental assistance programs that will help a significant number of tenants and will also afford them the ability to return to work and begin the process of returning to normalcy and the ability to pay rent.
We stand with our residents, owners and operators as we navigate these challenging times and encourage flexibility to ensure community needs are met. We acknowledge Gov. Sisolak’s recognition of the burdens landlords have endured over the past year and his overall consideration of the multifamily sector.”
During the question and answer session, Sisolak was also asked about the mask mandate and if he had plans to end it. "We have no intention of lifting the mask mandate," Sisolak said, "for the immediate, foreseeable future."
WATCH THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE HERE: