PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The moratorium on evictions in the state of Pennsylvania ran out Monday. That means tens of thousands of households could be at risk of being evicted.
According to Gov. Tom Wolf, ordering another extension to the moratorium is not within his power. He is now calling on the state legislature to step in.
“Eviction moratoriums are great but they come to an end,” Wolf said.
It’s a reality that Wolf says Pennsylvanians were going to have to face eventually. After two extensions, the eviction ban that began in March is set to expire at midnight.
A rally against the moratorium’s end took place in Center City Monday afternoon.
“The people need housing, give it for free,” the crowd chanted.
“Everyone thinks landlords are rich but most likely, they are middle class just like everybody else,” Brian Jackson said.
Jackson owns and rents out several Philadelphia properties. He says eviction is never a landlord’s goal.
“You don’t really want to deal with the idea of not getting money back because once you kick them out you are not getting that money back,” Jackson said.
But Jackson adds that some fellow landlords are being forced to sell their properties as a result of months without receiving payment.
On the state level, Gov. Wolf is asking legislators to consider $200 million in CARES Act funding to prevent evictions and the cut off utilities.
In Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney’s office released the Eviction Diversion Plan Monday, which will require mediation between landlords and tenants before the eviction process could begin.
Across Pennsylvania, it’s important to think of the moratorium like an interest-free loan, one that tenants will have to pay back, most likely through a payment plan established with their landlord.