NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Seven counties in Connecticut are considered areas with substantial community transmission for COVID-19, and New Haven County was upgraded Thursday to the high transmission category under CDC guidelines — this means they are all eligible for the eviction moratorium extension to Oct. 3.
“Of course I cried. I worried,” said New London tenant Linda who wanted News 8 to only use her first name.
She was behind on her rent, but was able to get the $15,000 in rental relief funding through UniteCT to pay her landlord and keep her home.
“It made my life easier without stress,” said Linda.
“Even if you have one tenant who doesn’t pay for six months and now some of these have gone out over a year that could ruin you financially,” said Attorney Yona Gregory, who is a landlord herself and represents landlords.
She encourages her clients to sign up for UniteCT so they can recoup some of their losses if tenants can’t pay their rent. But not everyone qualifies and not all landlords want to commit to keeping the tenants in place.
“He keeps telling us he just wants us out so his son can move in,” said tenant Steve Lynn of Watertown.
The state Department of Housing says 27,881 applicants entered the UniteCT Rent Relief system and 6,175 had funds paid to landlords and electric companies.
Some delays may be due in part because while 15,545 completed applications, 13,336 are incomplete.
“A high number of tenants are just not being proactive in submitting the information that’s required,” said Gregory.
Under the moratorium, landlords can still begin the eviction process and some tenants may not be protected by it if they’ve done things like broken the rules of their lease or have been involved in criminal activity.
“We are able to initiate evictions for lapse of time,” said Gregory. “There’s certain people who just want people out of their property and it’s not related to payment.”
Evicted tenants can use the money to secure new housing but their current landlord may not get any of it.