Tens of thousands at risk of being evicted in Pennsylvania

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HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The moratorium on evictions in the state of Pennsylvania ran out Monday, which means tens of thousands of households could be at risk of being evicted.

During a news conference today in Harrisburg, Governor Wolf called on state lawmakers to extend the moratorium by passing legislation.

“We can help keep Pennsylvanians safe and secure during this crisis. First and foremost, that means keeping a roof over their heads,” said Governor Wolf.

Wolf’s moratorium on evicting people from their homes has officially expired. Legally, the governor can no longer extend it under the state’s emergency services code.

The governor is now asking lawmakers to extend the moratorium by passing legislation and by improving resources.

“The obligation is ours to be able to enact legislation, we can’t count on the governor or the court to be able to continue to enter orders that are going to address the things that people in Pennsylvania are asking us to do as a legislature,” said Senator Jay Costa.

“Ultimately what we are trying to do is keep families in their homes during this time when the home is the safest place,” said Governor Wolf.

On the state level, Governor Wolf is asking legislators to consider $200 million in CARES Act funding to prevent evictions and utilities being cut off.

However, one local property manager has a different solution.

“If they want to put stuff in effect, I think maybe they should pay the landlord directly,” said Jim Straub, a property manager.

Straub owns and rents out several properties in the Wyoming Valley.

He says eviction is never a landlord’s goal.

“I think most landlords, if their tenant is in a situation they will work with the tenant,” exclaimed Straub.

Across the commonwealth, 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.

“Even though they can’t get evicted it doesn’t mean they don’t owe the rent,” said Straub.

The governor didn’t have a timeline but suggested the extension should continue through the rest of the year.

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