FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- The federal eviction moratorium has ended — despite a last-minute attempt Friday on Capitol Hill to extend it.
The moratorium allowed people to provide a form to their landlords saying they’re behind on their rent due to financial hardship caused by the pandemic.
Whether they lost their job, their wage decreased, etc.
Now, many Fort Wayne residents who are behind on rent are at risk of losing their homes.
“If you were under that moratorium or if you have built up back rent or other fees, all of that becomes due,” Attorney Andrew Thomas said.
Thomas says the weight of these payments can be crippling to some.
“Contrary to what a lot of people believe, there have been evictions in Indiana, even during the moratorium,” Thomas said.
That's 50,000 to be exact.
In Allen County, an estimated 3,000 eviction filings now go to court.
So, what does this mean in the upcoming weeks?
“All those pent-up cases that are already on the books, that are already there. Those people have to go to hearings and see whether or not they are going to be evicted at this point,” he said.
If you’re concerned, reach out for help immediately.
“None of us really like seeking help. We’d like to do it on our own. We need to get past being ashamed. It’s why the assistance is there,” Steve Hoffman said.
The President of the nonprofit Brightpoint says there’s a network of federal, state, and local funds to help those in need. You just need to apply.
“The earlier you do it the better because as that problem compounds and families start to incur late fees it makes it a more difficult problem,” Hoffman said.
If you don’t know how to apply or even if you qualify, agencies like Brightpoint, Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities can help families navigate the assistance they need.
One of the programs available in the City of Fort Wayne is the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
For a link to the application, click here.