COVID19 Eviction Situation Could Lead to More Mediation
The eviction moratoriums that were in place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic are expiring and landlords and tenants are nervous about what comes next. The community of Everett in Snohomish County is working with these groups to resolve the problems that are just around the corner. The statewide moratorium expires for their community on August 2nd.
At the moment, nobody will be evicted. But things could get messy once July is over. Area housing advocates are working with landlords to ensure they stay ahead of any impending disaster and they are using mediation to avoid an onslaught of evictions.
According to senior director of the Dispute Resolution Center LaDessa Croucher, “Under COVID, we are going to see people that we have never seen before. There are going to be people at all levels of income whose income has suddenly stopped and these may be people who are accessing our system for the first time.”
To have someone intervene in an issue related to eviction, Snohomish County residents are encouraged to call 211. They will speak to someone who handles intake and evaluates the details of the case. If warranted, the operator connects the person to area resources that can help.
The program’s manager, Lisa Hull, is proud of the work the group is doing. She says that calls to the hotline have risen each month since the pandemic began in March. According to Hull, nearly 70 percent of people who called 211 during that time were worried about eviction. She is hopeful that landlords and tenants struggling to reach an agreement concerning rent will be able to use mediation to come to an agreement and explore the options available to them to resolve the issues with rent.