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Iowa advocates concerned about evictions as COVID-19 assistance programs end

As COVID-19 assistance programs come to an end, housing advocates are worried how it'll impact...
As COVID-19 assistance programs come to an end, housing advocates are worried how it'll impact Iowans.
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 10:34 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - As COVID-19 assistance programs come to an end, housing advocates are worried how it will impact Iowans.

There have already been more than 5,300 evictions in Iowa just this year, according to Iowa Legal Aid.

Based on first quarter numbers, the state of Iowa is on track to see more than 20,000 eviction filings this year, which would be a state record.

Ericka Petersen, the assistant litigator director with Iowa Legal Aid, says a number of things are adding on to the state’s housing crisis, including pandemic-related snap benefits ending, and people owing back unemployment benefits.

“People have really hard decisions to make with very limited budgets,” Petersen said. “A lot of people are spending far more than what we consider is the gold standard, which is 30% of their income on housing.”

Petersen said the best defense against evictions is probably some sort of deal with their landlord, or legal assistance from a lawyer.

Organizations like Iowa Finance Authority or IMPACT also offer help with rental assistance.

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