LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Tenant advocates are calling for the community to help families affected by the pandemic. They want leaders to address evictions before the national moratorium expires at the end of this year.
Rising housing costs, COVID-related jobs, and wage loss, and changing eviction laws have contributed to the humanitarian crisis happening on the Las Vegas streets, these groups say.
Today, the Community Advocacy Groups held a Las Vegas evictions, housing crisis news conference to inform tenants of their rights.
They say, the City of Las Vegas’s 2019 “Homeless Ban” was yet another devastating blow to the issue, criminalizing houseless individuals for having nowhere to go.
Now that the statewide eviction moratorium has lifted and evictions have continued to be served despite the CDC protections and local mediation efforts available, there are families being put out on the streets in droves with nowhere to go.
The group says they’re hearing concerns of stories of landlords going around the CDC moratorium and trying to intimidate tenants.
The organization “Arriba Las Vegas” wants people to know that resources are available. They also say more help is needed, especially for immigrant workers, who are not eligible for unemployment benefits.
They estimate the number of people facing imminet evictions is in the thousands here in the valley.
One of them is Enrique Gonzalez, who has not been able to return to work full-time. As the only income earner in his family, he says it’s been extremely difficult to pay the bills.
“Billes por las cuales, la verdad, uno no alcanza,” said Enrique Gonzalez, Tenant.
“Since the moratorium here in Las Vegas has ended landlords feel like they have a green light. That they can start using abusive tactics to get tenants out,” said Cecilia Diaz, COVID-19 Benefits Director, Arriba Las Vegas.
“Some of our members are resorting to living in garages, living in their cars,” added Diaz.
“It is affecting black and brown people, low-income people disproportionately. We are in a public safety crisis,” said Carmella Gadsen, Volunteer.
Although the federal government disbursed money to municipal governments for rental assistance programs, applications are not being processed at the rate of need, these groups say.
Right now, they’re struggling to inform people about their rights. They described this as a humanitarian crisis, happening in our own backyard.
Advocates are calling on the community to help.