Help available for renters facing eviction

The federal moratorium expires Dec. 31; tenants must meet qualifications and submit a document to their landlord.

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 Three Rivers Legal Services is offering a public education campaign to help tenants facing eviction because they have fallen behind on their rent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a nationwide eviction moratorium Sept. 4 to stop the spread of COVID-19.

According to a news release from Three Rivers, many renters have not taken advantage of the moratorium. It is scheduled to expire Dec. 31.

The civil legal aid provider posted information for renters on its website and created informational videos in English and Spanish.  

“The CDC eviction moratorium stops any action by a landlord to remove a tenant because they are behind on their rent,” said Natalie Maxwell, director of advocacy and litigation at Three Rivers, in the release.

“However, the CDC moratorium is not automatic. Renters need to complete a declaration and give it to their landlord in order to be covered,” Maxwell said.

Unlike the Florida moratorium that expired Oct. 1, the CDC moratorium covers anyone facing a financial hardship, regardless of whether it is because of COVID-19.

To qualify for the CDC eviction moratorium, tenants must certify that they:

• Have used their best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing.

• Their income is less than $99,000 per year, $198,000 if filing a joint income tax return for 2020, they were not required to file taxes in 2019 or they received a stimulus payment.

• They are unable to pay their full rent due to a substantial loss of income, loss of hours or wages, they were laid off or had extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.

• They are using their best efforts to make partial payments of rent on time.

• If they are evicted, they are likely to become homeless and would need to move to a shelter or home shared by other people.

• They understand they still must pay rent and follow the rest of their obligations under their lease agreement.

To be protected by the CDC moratorium, a tenant must sign a declaration and give it to their landlord. The Form Declaration can be found on the CDC’s website at Mass Access created an online tool that creates a Form Declaration that can be signed electronically at