Pro Bono News
Wisconsin eviction rates have slowed during the CDC's moratorium, but landlords are continuing to toss tenants (WI)
Thursday, September 24, 2020
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin eviction rates have slowed during the CDC's moratorium, but landlords are continuing to toss tenants
"Few moratoriums are more porous and confusing than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's ban on evictions.
Since the CDC ban took effect Sept. 4, Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies have evicted 109 people from their homes, and landlords filed about 249 new eviction suits. Statewide about 727 eviction actions have been filed through Wednesday.
While the numbers are less than half of what they were during the same period in 2019, it's more than might be expected given a federal ban during a pandemic.
"People need to know that there are still people getting evicted," said Heidi Wegleitner, a Legal Action of Wisconsin attorney in Dane County. "The CDC order has not really solved this crisis."
The CDC ban puts the burden on tenants to figure out if they are eligible for protection from eviction. Eligible tenants must sign a declaration stating that they meet the criteria that would protect them from eviction actions until the end of the year. The declaration must be given to their landlord.
Wegleitner, who represents clients of Legal Action's Eviction Defense Project, said many tenants are unaware of the CDC order.
"The big question is does the tenant know about the protection they may have," she said, adding that there have been cases where tenants didn't learn of the moratorium until their trial, or when a sheriff's deputy came to their home with the eviction order..."