Renters still worried despite one month eviction extension

Renters still worried despite one month eviction extension

These are scary times for many renters about to face eviction right after the holidays.

“I will be homeless in about 2 to 3 weeks if I can’t come up with around $5000 dollars,” said Kevin Waugaman.

Waugaman has rented his home in Greensburg for more than a year, but like so many, his life was thrown into turmoil by the pandemic when he was laid off from the restaurant industry.

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The CDC’s eviction moratorium prevented landlords from evicting tenants due to financial difficulty during the pandemic, but it didn’t waive the payments — it just put them off. So, that giant bill is about to come due for many, and people like Waugaman can’t pay a big lump sum.

“The little bit of money I do have I try to pay what I can for rent and for West Penn Power and my regular bills,” Waugaman said.

Waugaman hoped to get help through the Housing Authority’s rent relief program — but says it was too confusing.

“They make it nearly impossible for the average person to comprehend and be able to fill out this paperwork,” he said.

Waugaman said his landlord has tried to work with him, but understands his position is difficult, too.

“He needs money too. He has mortgages. He has his own bills. He’s been more than fair, and he’s just to that point where he can’t wait any longer,” he said.

With the clock ticking, Waugaman is angry politicians are not doing more and acting faster to help people like him. And his 6-year-old son, Brady.

“These politicians don’t care cause they have a roof over their heads and they’re gonna have a nice Christmas and their families are taken care of. We’re not,” he said.

There is some hope that the new stimulus package Congress is working on will include language to extend the eviction moratorium. I have asked the governor’s office if they are planning an emergency extension but have not heard back yet.

If you get an eviction notice, you do have rights.

Your landlord can’t just tell you to get out. There is a legal process to follow. Click here for more information.

Other resources:

Steps you can take to make sure you can still pay your bills, as lawmakers work on stimulus relief