GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) – In less than two weeks, the nationwide eviction ban will expire. It was put in place to help millions who couldn't pay their rent during the pandemic.
Now, Middle Tennessee organizations are making sure you're prepared when the eviction ban ends. “If our story can help somebody else, I think that's worth it,” Lydia Bowlin who applied for rent relief said. Before the pandemic, Lydia Bowlin was planning to go back to work. She's been a stay at home mom.
“Just with everything with Covid, we decided that it was safer for our family to do virtual. So, I was not able to go back to work,” Bowlin said. Her husband didn't lose any work, but she said right after Christmas, things took a turn.
“I mean electric and water goes up. All of this kind of stuff. So, we started getting behind,” Bowlin said. Bowlin said they were open and honest with their landlord. They applied for rent relief in March and got accepted the next month. “There’s a lot of embarrassment that comes with this kind of thing, but at the same time, how many people do we know in this town alone that are going through similar situations?,” Bowlin said.
During the pandemic, there's been a nationwide ban on evictions. The CDC has said they will not be extending it again.
A coalition of Realtor groups asked the Supreme Court on Thursday night to block the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's order that prohibits landlords nationwide from evicting tenants who fail to pay rent amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s scary. This is a really hard time in everybody’s lives."
The moratorium was put in place to protect people from being evicted for not paying their rent. They had to file a declaration and meet the requirements to make sure that happened. “Those protections will be going away after July 31st,” Zac Oswald with The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and The Cumberlands said.
Oswald said they've been in touch with thousands of people who will be impacted when the moratorium ends. “Making sure they get to the rent relief resources that are out there for Tennesseans,” Oswald said.
Oswald said if an eviction court hearing gets set, contact a lawyer. He also told News4, you should go to court and talk with the judge and landlord.
If you're having trouble filling out the rent relief application, get in touch with legal aid. For Bowlin, her rent is paid up until the end of August. She said she won't hesitate to apply for more assistance if she and her family need it.
“At the end of the day, we're all people. We need to help each other out,” Bowlin said.
If you need help paying for rent and utilities, there are resources.
If you plan on applying, you'll need a lot of information and documents like a lease agreement and proof of income:
- Davidson County: Metro Action Hope Rental Assistance Program
- Knox County: Knox Housing Assistance Program
- Rutherford County: Rutherford County COVID-19 Rental Relief Program
- Shelby County: Community Services Agency Comprehensive Emergency Assistance Program
- All other Tennessee counties: Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) COVID-19 Rent Relief
Landlords can also apply for assistance.