CACLV: Eviction moratorium’s end ‘devastating’ for local renters

Written by on September 2, 2021

 CACLV: Eviction moratorium’s end ‘devastating’ for local renters

By Hayden Mitman

September 2, 2021

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Supreme Court ended the federal moratorium on evictions last week. 

Listen to the story.

The protection, in place since September of last year, was enacted to keep renters from being put out on the street during the pandemic. 

Dawn Godshall, executive director of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, said the abrupt end of eviction protections could have a dramatic impact. 

“It’s really going to be devastating for families,” she said.

More than half of renters throughout the valley may struggle to pay rent and utility bills according to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.

With no eviction protection, Godshall worries that many will end up homeless.  

“This can be catastrophic. We don’t have enough room in all of the shelters in the Lehigh Valley to put the people who are going to need housing,” she said.

However, she said that a recent proposal to provide renters with legal counsel could help.  

“If we could assist them in some way that landlords will understand that their paperwork is in process and so please just be patient a while longer, that would certainly be helpful,” Godshall said.

Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley proposed the right-to-counsel program.

The proposal needs to be approved by the Lehigh County Commissioners.

Godshall’s organization has been working with the Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Allentown to manage the Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The program still has about $14 million to help renters, but now, Godshall said, due to the Supreme Court’s decision, they really need to work fast.

Sign up for our WLVR weekly newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news from the Lehigh Valley and across Pennsylvania.


Current track