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How President Biden's eviction moratorium extension will impact Las Vegans

Posted at 9:15 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 01:04:44-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden requested federal agencies to extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums for millions of Americans.

In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on USDA Single Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans through March 31.

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While this will benefit millions of people on the brink of living on the street, some landlords and owners say that it will hurt them.

In Nevada, this may not have a big impact immediately since the state’s eviction moratorium also expires that day. There could also be another extension down the road.

The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, which has been helping Las Vegas area families avoid evictions under the past moratoriums, said the current protections are not automatic for those who qualify.

"Just like with the previous moratorium, a tenant has to take action to protect themselves," said Jim Berchtold, the directing attorney of the Consumer Rights Project at the Legal Aid Center.

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"They have to sign a declaration, give it to their landlord and if they get an eviction notice, they have to respond to it, “ explained Berchtold.

The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada has also seen many families who were threatened with eviction notices despite the moratorium already in place.

"We helped some of those people stay in their homes and work with their county commissioners," said PLAN Executive Director Laura Martin.

"So yes, the moratorium is important, coming from the federal government," said Martin, "but it's simply inadequate when there is no enforcement mechanism in the state and local level for judges to respect and follow these moratoriums from our president."

The Nevada State Apartment Association emphasized that the financial situation of landlords and owners needs to be included.

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"If you have 200 units and you got 40-50 people that aren’t paying rent you can somewhat struggle but continue to maintain," said NVSAA Executive Director Susy Vasquez.

"But if you have 20 units and five of those apartments aren't paying rent," she continued, "it definitely impacts their ability to be able to pay their mortgage, and their insurance and taxes, everything that is automatic, utilities."

They all say it’s important that tenants and landlords work together to avoid further problems.

For help with evictions contact the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada at (702) 386-1070 or lacsn.org.