Gov. Steve Sisolak extended Nevada’s eviction moratorium by 45 days, easing some of the concerns of the almost 250,000 people estimated to be at risk of eviction in Clark County alone.
The initial moratorium was put in place March 29, weeks after the statewide closures of nonessential business out of pandemic concerns.
“I originally put a residential eviction moratorium in place to keep Nevadans safe during COVID-19,” Sisolak said. “Keeping Nevadans in their homes to slow COVID-19 was safer than them making emergency shared housing or shelter arrangements, which increases the risk of spreading COVID-19. That still remains true today.”
The governor also announced an additional $10 million in federal coronavirus aid money to be added to the state’s residential rental assistance program. The program has already paid out $60 million, and was so needed that Clark County paused its program due to high demand.
“By adding this additional money and approving this 45-day extension, I am confident those processing short-term applications will be able to send money out the door to landlords on behalf of Nevada’s renters,” Sisolak said.
In a July report, the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities reported that between 272,000-327,000 Nevadans could struggle to pay their rent by September, with the vast majority in Clark County. The center calculated September eviction risk in Washoe County in the Reno area to be around 49,300.
The Nevada Legislature passed a bill in the last special session that would allow courts to delay evictions for up to 30 days and allow tenants and landlords to pursue an “alternative dispute resolution.” This measure has not been put into place anywhere in the state as of Monday, as courts are still setting it up. The delay on evictions, Sisolak said, will help courts roll out the program.
“We can’t keep this moratorium going forever, so we need to launch this program,” Sisolak said.
Additionally, Sisolak said the state’s beleaguered unemployment program will send money this week to 5,000 jobless awaiting payment.
“The unemployment backlog is one reason why I am extending the eviction moratorium,” Sisolak said. “We do not want Nevadans getting evicted while awaiting a determination of their case, and the state will do all it can to get a resolution to outstanding claims.”
The state’s coronavirus case numbers are currently dropping, with recent daily test rates down from a mid-July high. No one day since Aug. 20 has broken 650 new cases. The state’s highest rate of new daily infections was on July 15, with 1,447 new cases.
The governor stressed the need for Nevadans to continue taking the virus seriously, especially heading into Labor Day weekend.
“Now is not the time to let up. Now is the time to double down, to do even more, to make sure you wear your mask, to make sure you’re social distancing,” Sisolak said. “Don’t have a barbecue in your backyard with 50 or 100 of your closest friends.”