Wichita Renters Face Looming Eviction After $600 Unemployment and Federal Ban Expire

August 10, 2020

Service providers across Wichita are raising the alarm that a growing number of tenants face eviction in the coming months, particularly by the end of August. The concern comes as two pieces of the CARES Act expire: the federal moratorium on evictions expired on July 24 and the extra $600 in unemployment benefits expired July 25 in Kansas.

The moratoriums made a big difference in the number of evictions early on during the pandemic, said Steve Minson, a staff attorney in Wichita with Kansas Legal Services. The organization offers legal defense, including for evictions, for people who may not be able to afford a lawyer.

Without the additional benefits, the average weekly unemployment check was $398.67 in the first quarter of 2020 in Kansas, the most recent quarter available, according to state unemployment insurance data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The median rent price in Wichita is $850, according to estimates from Zillow, which tracks rent prices across the country.

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