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What Do Eviction Moratoriums Mean for Salt Lake County Renters?

Posted By Regional Development
December 04, 2020

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What if I'm a renter in Salt Lake County that is having a hard time paying rent because COVID-19 has impacted my health or job?

During the pandemic, various state and federal eviction moratoriums have tried to prevent landlords from evicting families -- if their contracts haven't expired. They've kept individuals safe in their homes and off the streets during the pandemic.

But it doesn't erase paying rent.

What is an eviction moratorium?

In March, a federal moratorium on evictions from March 25-July 25, 2020 was signed due to the pandemic affecting a lot of jobs, education, and health. Utah also made a state moratorium on evictions in March through May 15.

That meant property managers and landlords couldn't easily evict residents from their housing for non-payment, if they made certain efforts.

Come the end of July, it was clear the pandemic was not ending and help would need to be extended, and on Sept. 1, the CDC issued a new nationwide eviction moratorium that is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2020, unless extended, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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An eviction moratorium doesn't mean that rent is forgiven.

In fact, an eviction moratorium just delays when a landlord can evict a resident for non-payment. When the current moratorium ends at the year's close, rent will be due -- in full. 

What If I Can't Pay Rent?

To be covered by the current eviction moratorium, you have to:

  • Have made efforts to get rental assistance from the government or other entities
  • You lost income from being laid off, furloughed, or reduced hours 
  • You've tried to make partial payments the best you can
  • Prove that if you were evicted you'd become homeless or have to move in with someone else
  • Show you're earning less than $99,000 in 2020

Then, you need to give your landlord a signed declaration (which you can find here). 

This FAQ for Renters by the National Low Income Housing Coalition might be helpful in answering more questions.

Where Can I Find Help?

  1. Due to high need, there are limited funds remaining in Utah to help residents with rental assistance. You may be able to access rental assistance funds through Utah Community Action, by calling 801-359-2444. You can also visit http://utahca.org.
  2. For Salt Lake City residents needing mortgage assistance, funding may be available through Community Development Corporation of Utah (https://www.cdcutah.org/covid-assistance or call 801-994-7222) and Neighborhood Works Salt Lake (https://nwsaltlake.org/).
  3. Residents can also call 2-1-1 where are variety of resources can be identified for your situation, including low-income housing assistance, or visit https://211utah.org.
  4. Access resources through SAMi, a SLCo app where you can find information. Register for an account here.

What is Salt Lake County Doing?

Salt Lake County has been funding housing stability efforts before the pandemic. Before receiving CARES Act funding, Salt Lake County committed more than half a million dollars in rental assistance in April. In November, Salt Lake County dedicated another $1.5 million dollars toward rental assistance to bridge a gap in funding from the state and federal government through the end of the year. And in December, Salt Lake County is set to commit $3.6 million dollars more for housing stability into 2021-22.