Gov. Andy Beshear says he will revise his executive order banning evictions in Kentucky later this week, after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that it will halt most evictions until the end of the year.
The CDC order, which is set to take effect later this week, would ban landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment of rent if they show they have sought government assistance to make payments and say they are unable to pay rent because of a COVID-related hardship.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Beshear said that he will amend his executive order banning evictions to comply with the federal order.
“The thing I want to make sure though is that just because the CDC put something out and evictions can’t occur, we still have a challenge for business owners, especially those that are trying to do it right,” Beshear said.
“But more than that, we have individuals that if we don’t get in there now and start creating good resolutions, will come out of COVID with so much debt that they won’t have a place to live, they won’t have credit. It’ll be hard to get life up and going.”
Beshear’s order was intended to stop landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment of rent, but the Kentucky Supreme Court has allowed evictions proceedings to take place for about a month.
The Kentucky Supreme Court did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Last week, Beshear announced a $15 million “Home Eviction Fund” to help people pay rent if they are at risk of being kicked out, requiring landlords to give tenants 30 days’ notice of a pending eviction.
Meanwhile a group of landlords in Northern Kentucky has sued Beshear in federal court over his eviction orders. The court has delayed the case while awaiting Beshear’s new order and guidance from the CDC.
Adrienne Bush, executive director of the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky, said that the federal government is going to need to provide financial help for renters too.
“If we don’t get the money flowing, in terms of rental assistance, we could easily have massive evictions, massive displacement here in Kentucky and then eventually lose a bunch of those homes out of the rental market, out of the housing market,” Bush said.
Congress will be returning from its summer break over the coming weeks and lawmakers are facing renewed pressure to pass another coronavirus relief package.
Advocates have been pushing for another round of stimulus checks and extending unemployment benefits to help people struggling during the pandemic.
During Beshear’s daily briefing Wednesday, he announced 816 new cases of coronavirus in Kentucky and 18 new deaths.
Beshear said that the statistics were worrisome.
Even when we have the dropping positivity rate, which is what we want to see and allows us to open up and do a little more, when we have this number of cases, we lose people so let’s make sure we’re working harder,” Beshear said.