Washington Residents Seek Legal Advice As Eviction Moratorium Bridge Expires | New

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash .– The moratorium on evictions expired in June, but since then Governor Inslee has put in place a moratorium on bridges to help people make the transition and avoid being evicted from their homes.

Legal help or advice hasn’t always been there for low-income families at risk of eviction, but as of last Monday there is.

“I immediately broke because I didn’t think I had the money to move,” said Alexis Miller, a mother from Idaho who should be deported.

Last month we told you the terrifying story of Alexis Millers as she scrambled to find a place to live days after being evicted from her Post Falls home.

In April, Washington became the first state to provide free legal aid to tenants facing eviction.

“The goal is that we can preserve a lot of housing for people,” said Michelle Lucas, lawyer in charge of the eviction prevention unit of the NW Justice Project. “So even though the law went into effect immediately, there just weren’t any lawyers available to fill those roles for people.”

It is until now. A note sent by the Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid certified that 12 counties were able to provide free legal aid to tenants starting October 4, if you qualify.

“It’s 200% of the federal poverty level,” she said.

If you already have a rent assistance plan, you may also be eligible.

“Also, it doesn’t go off right away. It goes off when a tenant receives what is called an eviction notice,” she said.

Previously, the president of the tenants union told us that they were anticipating thousands of evictions by the end of the bridge.

“At least 2,500 evictions immediately,” said Terri Anderson, director of the Spokane Tenants Union.

And Anderson expects 2,000 each month thereafter.

That’s a high number that Lucas said they could help reduce.

“Low-income tenants are often the people they are most likely to be unable to pay their rent with, they are more likely to lose their housing. And so, and it is more difficult for them to find new housing,” said Lucas said. . “Having a lawyer doesn’t mean they’ll absolutely be able to stay at home, but it will really increase their chances because they’re represented.”

Of course, the Northwest Justice Project is only a provider, there are also local volunteer lawyer programs. So, if you’re worried about being kicked out, here are some resources:

NW Justice Project: https://nwjustice.org/get-legal-help or 1-855-657-8387

Eviction Defense Control Line: 1-855-657-8387

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