Local Safety Net Created for Those Facing Eviction When Moratorium Expires

July 10, 2020

Mark Smith is like a lot of landlords these days, "I have tenants behind on rent. We are working like heck, the banks, the government, landlords, tenants all working together to work through this as this is something we've never dealt with before," he said. 

This includes Alisa Baratta of Easton's Third Street Alliance. Even with a moratorium on evictions now extended to the end of August, Smith doesn't plan on putting anyone out on the street come September.

By partnering with county agencies and other non-profits, like Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown, co-chairs of the Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board, the program ensures landlords will still be paid even if renters come up short. 

One of those navigators is North Penn Legal Services. Executive Director Lori Molloy says they're offering pro bono work for those facing evictions, which she expects to spike come the fall. 

"It is really important for people to understand what the options are and what the court process is like," Molloy said.

As for Smith, he's hopeful landlords will take a different look at the bottom line when evictions can come back on the books.

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