Millions of Americans are facing eviction, unable to pay rent after losing their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. Adding to their stress, a federal moratorium on evicting renters behind on their payments is teetering on the edge in Washington, D.C.
"I don’t think I’ve seen that many people facing eviction at one time since I’ve been a counselor here, no," said Dolores Palmer, the Director of Housing Services for the non-profit group Westchester Residential Opportunities.
Palmer got NBC New York in touch with a renter who is three months behind on her payments. She didn't want to be named, but said she's is now working three part-time jobs just to pay her rent.
But Palmer did have some good news: "There's a lot of money available." The non-profit groups said that there are plenty of federal and local funds out there to help tenants and landlords.
For those having trouble making payments, the best and first step renters or tenants should take is contacting the landlord right away.
"If (tenants) can pay their rent or mortgage or even part of it, they should," said Marlene Zarfes, who also works at the non-profit.
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The moratorium on evictions in New York expires August 20, and it is still unclear if it will be extended. The clock is ticking for those at risk, while Congress debates a federal hold on evictions.
"They need to have a deal quickly. There are people out there who are gonna be in the street, they don’t have food," said Zarfes.