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As end of federal eviction moratorium looms, local agencies say they’re ready to help renters in need

Local News

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – Saturday, the Federal Eviction Moratorium set in place last year is scheduled to expire.

According to the Wisconsin Data Project, nearly 20,000 evictions were filed last year, but only around 11% of them have resulted in judgments.

So far this year, over 800 judgments on eviction have been made: 43 were in Brown County, 34 in Outagamie County, and the most in our area were 56 in Winnebago County.

At Leaven, helping people out with rent has long been a mission.

“Leaven provides limited financial assistance to households who are struggling to meet their basic needs. The majority of our assistance is for housing, so rent or mortgage assistance or utilities,” Mary Parsons, Executive Director of the organization explained.

During the pandemic, with more federal assistance resources made available, that role has shifted.

“We’re really referring a lot of people, so we more have a heightened responsibility to be advocates and educators, and resource coordinators,” Parsons said.

One of those resources is ADVOCAP.

“We can help with rent, we can help with utilities, we can help with mortgages, and we’re trying to help people figure out what to do in this crisis situation they may find themselves in,” Lu Scheer, Affordable Housing Director for ADVOCAP said.

According to Scheer, it all starts with reaching out for help, and with opening up communication with your landlord.

“We’re looking at possible association with mediation, other things that we’ll help figure out, so we can work through this in a way that makes sense to everybody,” she explained.

They’ve already helped more families in 2021 than they would in a typical calendar year.

“We typically would help up to 500 households,” Scheer said. “We’ve already over 1,000 households with this Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance that’s going on since the end of February, so in the last five months.”

With the federal eviction ban coming to an end, they’re anticipating that workload to continue to grow.

“We’re connecting people to as many resources as we possibly can, we find that a lot of people say, ‘i never thought I’d be in this situation,’ and we remind them that it’s a temporary situation and we’re able to help,” Scheer said.


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