Gov. Edwards praises new federal eviction moratorium

Published 11:45 am Thursday, August 5, 2021

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Gov. John Bel Edwards praises the Biden administration’s new, 60-day federal moratorium on evictions in areas of the country ravaged by the Delta variant of COVID-19, a move aimed at protecting hundreds of thousands of renters at risk of facing eviction from their homes during a pandemic. Louisiana is currently experiencing the nation’s highest number of COVID-19 cases per capita, and Edwards stresses that renters and landlords should not wait until the new moratorium expires before applying for assistance from available financial assistance programs throughout the state.

The Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance program continues to accept applications. The program focuses on paying past-due rent and utilities dating from April 2020, up to three months of future rent and current utilities, as well as some penalties and late fees.

Renters and landlords are encouraged to apply at or call 877.459.6555 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Renters should apply even if they only need assistance for current and future rent.

More than 25,700 residents have begun applications for the state program, and an additional 37,500 have begun applications for the programs being administered by Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans, and St. Tammany parishes. To date, more than $61 million in rental assistance has been approved statewide, and that number is increasing each day.

“As we combat this deadly new surge in COVID-19 cases, we are grateful for the additional time extended to those who are still struggling to remain in their homes during the pandemic,” Edwards said. “First and foremost, if you have not already done so, we urge you to protect yourself, your family and your community by getting vaccinated and complying with the new statewide indoor mask mandate. Additionally, if you are a renter who is struggling financially, we encourage you to apply now for available assistance to help you to pay your rent and utilities and avoid eviction.”

The new, narrower order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday remains effective through Oct. 3. The eviction moratorium allows additional time for rent relief to reach renters and to further increase vaccination rates.

For those who have already been evicted or who may already be facing homelessness, there are free resources to help find available and affordable rental homes, including; Louisiana’s Housing Coordinated Entry Access Points; and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s list of community partners, Additionally, if a renter has been evicted but has signed a new lease, the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance program may be able to provide assistance for up to three months forward rent.