Expiring eviction moratorium could affect childcare shortage

A Cedar Rapids nonprofit says the current childcare shortage could add another layer of problems to the eviction moratorium ending.
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 6:36 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Time is running out for renters who are relying on the CDC’s eviction moratorium. The program expires on June 30th.

Waypoint’s Director of Housing Services, J`nae Peterman, says their fear is this moratorium won’t be extended. If that’s the case, she says evictions could start if people can’t start paying back their rent.

Peterman says once the second stimulus payments were sent out, call volumes decreased for awhile at Waypoint. But now, 200 to 250 calls a day come in for rental assistance, a number they saw early in the pandemic.

Peterman says the moratorium is a huge asset for people out of work from the pandemic. She says if it ends, it could also worsen the current childcare shortage.

”We do want to take into consideration, especially with school out, that was a lot of child care for parents. So with the childcare shortage, we’re going to see parents not be able to go back to work full-time like they maybe were during the school year, and that’s just going to add another layer to all of this,” Peterman says.

She says Waypoint hopes renters and landlords will start reaching out for help so they can get people back on track. Some mistake the moratorium for a grace period, but Peterman reminds renters they have to pay back what they owe when it ends.

A National Equity Atlas report shows about 14% of U.S. renters are behind on their rent. Iowans in need of rental or housing assistance can call Waypoint, where they will immediately get help with an application for assistance. The number to call is 319-366-7999.

From there, Peterman says they can give people an answer if help is available. In the meantime, renters remain hopeful the deadline will be extended, since it’s already been pushed back three times.

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