The legal aid organization Gulfcoast Legal Services says they are seeing an influx of calls from tenants regarding evictions, even during the coronavirus pandemic. GLS has suspended its in-person services because of social distancing concerns, but it’s still working with clients via email and phone.
On WMNF’s MidPoint we spoke with two staff members from Gulfcoast Legal Services. Caryn Rosencrantz is a supervising housing attorney and Robin Stover is deputy director of housing and financial stability units at Gulfcoast Legal Services.
“On March 27 the President signed the CARES Act and that is the federal act that is related to, obviously, the coronavirus crisis.
“Private landlords who own a building and do not have a federally backed mortgage, private landlords, those evictions are not controlled or not affected by the CARES Act.
“Landlords who have a mortgage on their housing units, if they have a building that has five units or more and that landlord has a mortgage on that property that is insured, guaranteed or assisted in any way by HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Rural Housing Voucher Program or the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, in other words, if a landlord has a property that is somehow supplemented in any way by the federal government, then those landlords for 120 days from the date of enactment, which was March 27, so for 120 days those landlords are prohibited from initiating legal action to recover possession of a rental unit related to nonpayment,” Stover said.
For more information, or to see if you are eligible for services, call 727-821-0726 ext. 273 or fill out an online application for services at gulfcoastlegal.org/request-assistance.
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