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More eviction hearings in Idaho after US moratorium ends

| August 18, 2020 1:46 PM

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The number of eviction hearings held in Idaho has gone up since a federal eviction moratorium aimed at helping renters hit hard economically by the coronavirus pandemic expired in July.

There are 53 eviction hearings scheduled this week and that's the highest number for the state since May, according to the Jesse Tree group that helps renters facing eviction.

The Idaho Legal Aid group that offers free lawyers for renters with housing difficulties has also reported an increase in eviction cases and an increased rise in calls to its hotline, KTVB-TV reported.

“The cases of this nature that we’ve handled so far this year is right about double year-to-date what we saw last year,” said Martin Hendrickson, a statewide advocacy attorney legal aid group.

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association hopes to reduce evictions through its Housing Preservation Program.

The program was enacted to help people struggling to pay housing payments because of the pandemic's economic fallout. The association got $15 million from the federal government to help people having trouble paying for their housing.

In Idaho, the program has so far given out about $2.2 million to help 3,000 people since it started in June, said Brady Ellis, the association's vice president of housing support programs.