The CDC has extended the national eviction moratorium through September. Tenants and landlords will have additional time to apply for and receive rent assistance funds. Tenants protected by the current Eviction Protection Declaration are included in the extended moratorium.
Please stay tuned for additional updates from the RHRC.
The eviction moratorium has ended and my tenant is behind on rent. I’m considering eviction. What can I do?
The national eviction moratorium ends on July 31, 2021. If your tenants are not up-to-date on rental payments, you may be considering filing an eviction. However, there are alternatives that can save you time and money.
- Submit a landlord inquiry or refer your tenant to the rent assistance programs at SDC or Community Advocates. They may be eligible for assistance paid directly to the property owner that covers both back rent as well as potential future rent. You will not receive the assistance if the tenant is evicted. If your tenant applied for rent assistance and you have not received a payment, please provide time for the application to be processed. Average turnaround times for rent assistance applications are around 30 business days. Waiting to be notified of the outcome of a rent assistance application can be difficult, but know that funds are being distributed at this time.
- Consider mediation. Many landlords find that mediation works better for them than court. Tenant-landlord mediation can be faster, less expensive, and less stressful than taking your tenant to court, while achieving similar results. For example, Tim Ballering of Affordable Rentals now has a “mediation first” policy, finding that mediation increases the likelihood that rent will be paid. Applications can be initiated online, by calling 414-939-8800 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, the sooner the better.
I’m a tenant. The eviction moratorium has ended and I cannot pay my rent. What can I do?
The national eviction moratorium ends on July 31, 2021. If you are not up to date on your rental payments, the end of the eviction moratorium may be a source of enormous stress. But don’t panic –– there are resources that can help you avoid eviction.
- Talk to your landlord. If you applied for rent assistance, let them know where your application stands. If you’re able to make small payments, offer a repayment plan. Your landlord may be willing to work with you to avoid the hassle of eviction.
- If you have not applied for rent assistance, do so ASAP! If you experienced a loss of income in the last six months or a financial hardship related to the public health crisis, you may be eligible for rent relief. If you live in Milwaukee or Waukesha County, you can apply for rent assistance from Community Advocates. If you live in the City of Milwaukee, you can apply for rent assistance from the Social Development Commission. Your landlord will receive a notification after you complete your application, however, we recommend you still let your landlord know right away that you applied.
- Get support through mediation. A professional mediator from Mediate Wisconsin can work with you and your landlord as a neutral third-party to find an alternative solution to eviction. Mediation can help you keep an eviction off your record.
- Get legal advice. You may want legal support from the Legal Aid Society or from Legal Action of Wisconsin. Their experienced eviction defense teams can help you fight an eviction or reach an agreement with your landlord that doesn’t involve eviction. Reach out at any point – they may provide advice or a letter pre-filing, or if needed, in-court representation.
If you’re a renter with court for eviction this summer, Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Eviction Defense Project may be able to help.
Legal Action of Wisconsin has announced the Eviction Defense Project’s calendar for the months of June, July, and August. If you have court on one of the days available, Legal Action may be able to provide you with an attorney.
The Eviction Defense Project offers free legal aid, including:
• Brief legal advice
• Settlement assistance
• Document drafting
• Limited scope in-court representation
While Legal Action operates remotely, you should contact them as soon as possible before your court date to try to secure an attorney. You may contact (414) 278-7722 for assistance or more information.
The Wisconsin Moratorium on utility shut offs ended on April 15, 2021. If you are behind in utility payments, your service provider may disconnect your utilities. You can prevent utility shut offs by contacting your service provider and by utilizing Energy Assistance. Call (414) 270-4653 for help!
If you cannot pay your utility bill, talk to your utility service company and ask for a deferred payment plan. Utility service companies are required to offer deferred payment plans, which allows you to make partial payments on your bill.
Energy Assistance is available to help eligible applicants pay their utility bill though the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). If you have not yet applied for assistance in this benefit year (since October 1, 2020) you can apply by visiting KEEPWARMMKE.ORG, by calling (414) 270-4-MKE (4653) for a phone appointment, or directly on the Energy Plus website HERE. If you applied for rent assistance from Community Advocates or from SDC, you can also receive utility assistance funds for balances not covered by Energy Assistance. Apply for Energy Assistance first to maximize the available resources.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email the RHRC team at email@example.com or call (414) 895-7368.
Watch this video to learn about the Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center – who we are and how we are changing Milwaukee’s rental housing system.
Over the past two decades, the percentage of renter households that spend at least half their income on housing has grown from 21% to 30%. The #COVID19 pandemic made it even harder for families to keep up with rent payments. The RHRC connects tenants experiencing financial hardship with trusted resources to prevent eviction. In this video, hear from Maricela Gaona, the Eviction Prevention Specialist at the Milwaukee County Housing Division.
Learn about Hope House from Wendy Weckler, the Executive Director at Hope House. RHRC co-partners, including Hope House, collectively administered $13 million in rent assistance in 5 months in 2020. These payments enabled tenants and landlords to avoid eviction and to maintain stable housing.
Raphael Ramos coordinates the Eviction Defense Project at Legal Action of Wisconsin. Attorneys like Raphael meet RHRC clients’ legal needs, providing in-court representation, brief legal consultations, and document drafting.