Two weeks before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s original eviction moratorium was set to expire on July 31, the Lafayette County Justice Court was already seeing evictions increase on its August docket.
“There has been about a 25 percent increase of landlord/tenant filings and we anticipate more to come,” Lafayette County Justice Court Judge Mickey Avent said Tuesday morning.
However, by Tuesday afternoon those cases and any eviction filings local landlords planned to file this week are now put on hold after the CDC issued a new eviction moratorium that will protect renters until at least Oct. 3.
The new order covers renters in areas experiencing “substantial” and “high” rates of coronavirus transmission, which is about 80 percent of all U.S. counties.
The CDC’s website has a tool where U.S. residents can check whether they live in a county experiencing “substantial” or “high” levels of COVID-19.
However, if you live in Mississippi you don’t need to bother checking – all but two counties are listed as having “high” levels of new cases, and those other two counties – Sharkey and Issaquena are listed as having “substantial” levels of the virus.
All Mississippi residents are covered under the new eviction moratorium.
The extension will allow states to continue to distribute their share of $46 billion in federal rental assistance funds made available earlier this year by the federal government.
Mississippi received $200 million in Emergency Rental Assistance and additional funds are on their way in a supplemental ERA program.
Funds cover up to 12 months of past-due rent (dating back to March 13, 2020), three months of future rent and utilities. Funds must be requested and received before an eviction occurs. If eviction occurs, then neither the landlord or tenant may receive the money.
Lafayette County residents can request help from RAMP ERA, administered by Mississippi Home Corporation.
To access the application or to learn more, visit https://ms-ramp.com/era or call 1-888-725-0063.