HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Ned Lamont will extend the moratorium on evictions until Oct. 1 in response to ongoing financial strife caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
On June 30, Lamont extended the eviction moratorium until Aug. 25. Now five days before that expiration date, he granted renters a second reprieve. Lamont announced the extension at his first coronavirus briefing since returning from vacation.
“We still have an incredibly high unemployment rate in this state and in this country,” Lamont said at his daily briefing Thursday.
John Souza, president of the Connecticut Coalition of Property Owners, said he is disappointed and confused by Lamont’s decision. Since the court system has been essentially shut down because of the pandemic, Souza said no one would have been evicted anyway.
“It’s sad they keep using the landlords to shoulder public benefit,” Souza said. “It’s not really fair to us.”
Souza predicts many small landlords will lose their property because of Lamont’s decision to extend moratoriums.
Lamont also announced that rent relief will increase from $10 million to $20 million under the Temporary Rental Housing Assistance Program, which provides aid to renters to prevent evictions.
“The rent relief is part of an overall package we got from our relief fund,” Lamont said. “We can provide for mortgages and other things. This can’t go on forever but it is going to go on for a little longer.”
This increased money will allow a landlord to negotiate with a renter, Lamont said.
Lamont said that he hopes the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate will be able to come together to provide relief for homeowners.
“What you can’t have in the middle of an unemployment crisis is a lot of people losing their homes,” Lamont said. “We are going to do everything we can to extend out the period of time and make it easier for people to stay in your homes.”
As school is reopening, Lamont said having a home is more important than ever.
“I am trying to get people back to school, back to work,” Lamont said. “Having a home you can call your home is the foundation for making that happen.”