Some attorneys said they don’t necessarily expect a spate of new cases, but rather forecast a steady increase over the weeks – with wide variations depending on the state or even the district a renter lives in.
“I went to court in Mecklenburg County this morning and the judges took eviction cases today,” said Isaac Sturgill, a housing attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina, referring to the district that includes Charlotte. “But it can look very different, depending on which district you are in.”
In Ohio, housing judges in some counties have long pretended that the CDC’s moratorium never happened. In Cincinnati, this spring, some judges began allowing landlords to terminate tenants for non-payment of rent after a federal judge ruled the CDC moratorium was unconstitutional.
These judges began to pause evictions only after the Supreme Court dismissed landlords’ complaint against the moratorium in June.
“The evictions have been going back and forth for a few months,” said Nicholas DiNardo, senior attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, which also includes Cincinnati. He said evictions court records were filling up quickly, with about 75 cases a day in Cincinnati for the next three weeks.
But a chronic complaint from legal aid attorneys and landlords has been that the rental aid application process is too cumbersome and that Washington underestimated the negative effects of a tedious anti-fraud process.
Jacksonville, Florida has a backlog of thousands of rental aid applications, making it difficult for other tenants facing eviction to seek help.
“The time it took to process these applications was not taken into account and there was insufficient trained staff,” said Mary DeVries, director of the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Housing Unit.