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Housing Advocates Have “Mixed Emotions” Day After DeSantis Extends Eviction Moratorium

Photo: Tom Rumble

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Heart of Florida United Way CEO Jeff Hayward has mixed emotions Wednesday after Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the housing moratorium for a month. 

Hayward says the new August 1 deadline gives families more time to pay rent, but it only temporarily delays what he calls an “eviction crisis”. 

He says a U.S. Census Bureau survey found more than a third of Floridians said they struggled to pay rent last month or this month. 

“So our court system when it comes to eviction is a pay-to-play state. So if you get a notice to quit from your landlord you get a three-day notice you have five days to respond. But in order to file that response with the court, you have to pay all of the back rent that’s in question.”

Hayward says he’d like the government, nonprofit and business sectors to come up with short- and long-term solutions to the housing crisis instead.

He says with the rent-meter ticking, tenants and landlords still stand to lose when the deadline hits and five months rent comes due.

“Then that small mom-and-pop landlord gets stuck holding a bill and that’s not fair for them and it destabilizes their housing situation because they may be facing foreclosure at that point.”

Hayward says he’s worried about a rise in homelessness as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford third for unemployment in metro areas across the country.

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