The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a nationwide moratorium on evictions, but the ban has ended and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is concerned about the possibility of several hundred evictions in the district in the coming weeks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a nationwide moratorium on evictions, but the ban has ended and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is concerned about the possibility of several hundred evictions in the district in the coming weeks.

“We have money available to help tenants with rent; and if the tenant is eligible, they shouldn’t be evicted, ”Mendelson said.

He said the city has approximately $ 200 million in federal emergency funds designed to keep people in their homes, but warned that the bureaucratic hassle in the city’s STAY DC program is preventing the city from that the money will achieve its intended purpose.

“About 70 evictions are planned for next week, most, if not all, of which will be stopped when the rent is paid. And I’ve been told that for most, if not all, of them, STAY DC’s money is an option, but the city isn’t moving fast enough to get those dollars out, ”Mendelson said.

STAY DC provides grants to tenants and housing providers to cover past and future rental payments as well as ancillary costs. Last month, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office said the district reached a national milestone for rent relief before a use-it-or-lose-it period on September 30th.

In a letter Wednesday to Bowser, Mendelson said the city’s Department of Human Services, which administers the STAY DC program, has rejected efforts to meet to address the crisis.

“You are not ready to meet with me; they are not ready to tackle this problem; and they are not ready to block these evictions next week as far as I can tell, ”Mendelson said.

Mendelson asked Bowser to explain to the council by the end of the week how she would provide the money to avert the evictions.

The mayor’s office was asked to comment on Mendelson’s letter, but there was no immediate response.

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