Local nonprofit offers free legal advice to Southern Nevadans struggling to pay rent

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s been less than two weeks since the statewide eviction moratorium ended, causing thousands of Southern Nevadans to worry about losing their homes.

The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada is stepping up to help this weekend by offering free legal aid to residents across the Las Vegas valley.

Dozens of residents walked into the West Las Vegas Library on Saturday to try to find any answers that could help them keep a roof over their head.

Close to 150,000 residents are facing eviction after the state moratorium ended June 1.

Numbers from the Legal Aid Center puts nearly 300,000 Nevada residents at risk of losing their home.

Kimberly Cummings is one of many residents who is desperate for a solution.

“It’s been really tough… late nights, crying… I have two children, so it’s been devastating,” Cummings said.

The single mom lost her job in April 2020, and making ends meet has been tough for her family.

She says her landlord didn’t waste any time giving her an eviction notice when the moratorium expired.

“I am still applying for jobs — that never stopped. However, I have been with my two children,” Cummings explained. “It’s literally just me, so parents that are between that rock, what do we do?”

The Rental Assistance Program did help for a bit, but she still owes money to her landlord — money that she doesn’t have.

The pandemic has been very difficult, which is why the center stepped in to offer free legal advice this weekend. The nonprofit is making sure tenants know what steps to take.

“We have heard from $8,000 to $14,000 dollars in rent — families who are really excited to start up life again and go into the world, but rent is hanging over them its hard for renters right now to find new housing,” said Lauren Pena, the Directing Attorney of Civil Law Self Help Center.

Pena says if tenants are faced with an eviction notice, the first step is to apply for the Rental Assistance Program, then find a mediator for their case.

Cummings said Saturday’s event gave her hope, and some time.

“This has been a real relief. I see a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

The federal eviction moratorium ends July 1, but the Legal Aid Center says tenants should not wait for that date to get help.

To learn more about the CARES Housing Assistance program, click here.

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