Legal Aid of Nebraska offers assistance to those facing eviction

The pandemic has put a spotlight on the eviction crisis in Nebraska. However, according to Caitlin Cedfeldt, an attorney with the Housing Justice Project at Legal Aid of Nebraska, these underlying inequities are nothing new.

“It’s a multifaceted problem for sure, but one of the biggest causes of [Nebraska’s] ‘eviction problem’ is the lack of affordable housing,” she said.

This lack of affordable housing puts families in tough positions, even before the pandemic. With many living paycheck to paycheck, the COVID-19 outbreak has only made it that much more difficult for families to deal with unexpected costs such as illness.

“Families facing eviction often have terrible choices: pay this bill, or that bill, and hope the consequences do not completely put them out of a home, a job, or food,” Cedfeldt said.

This year, the consequences of eviction are much greater.

“If you get evicted, your choices are the street, a shelter, or moving in with other people,” Cedfeldt explained. “Shelters and moving in with other people are not very safe options right now, because if one person in the household is positive for COVID-19, the other household members are six times more likely to contract the virus.”

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