The last year has been rough on Ivan Varela, who lost his job as a cook in March 2020 when restaurants were shut down.
“I became homeless so I am staying in a hotel in Tamarac,” Varela said.
He got by on rental assistance, but by March 2021, the money dried up and he got evicted from his apartment in Sunrise.
“We were late on rent,” he said. “There was no income, so how do you pay the rent?”
It’s a stressful situation he and many others have had to face during the pandemic.
The CDC is trying to save others from going through similar evictions.
“This moratorium being instated comes in the nick of time,” said Annie Lord with Miami Homes for All.
On Tuesday, the CDC announced it is putting a hold on evictions through October. The ban covers U.S. counties where there’s a high spread of COVID-19.
The move comes just days after the federal moratorium expired over the weekend.
Lord says some tenants started getting eviction notices as early as Sunday.
“They suddenly were receiving eviction notices, that they could not contact their landlords,” Lord said.
The CDC says evictions would have been a threat to public health with more out of their homes, the virus would spread faster.
“It not only is going to prevent homelessness but also prevent the spread of this virus,” Lord said.
Lord says the moratorium will also help rental assistance get to more people who need it.
Congress approved $46 billion in rental assistance to be distributed by the states.
But, at the state level, federal funds have been slow to go out.
“That moratorium is actually incredibly effective to helping landlords and renters come to the table together,” Lord said.
Varela says it’s good news, but he’s still skeptical.
“It’s something positive that depends on the landlord,” he said.