Many Valley families get a lifeline after Biden extends ban on evictions

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021
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At least 8,000 families in Fresno were behind in their rent payments.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Biden administration has extended a federal ban on evictions of tenants who have fallen behind on rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The moratorium has been extended to June 30th.

RELATED: Ban on renter evictions during COVID-19 pandemic is extended

The policy was set to expire on Wednesday.

"To hear it's going to be extended - it's another lifeline for these community folks," says Pao Yang with the Fresno Center.

The Fresno Center is one of six organizations that have partnered with the City of Fresno to offer rental assistance so landlords can get paid.

Yang said many people who come in need help navigating the city's website.

Over 85,000 rental units were listed in the Rental Housing Registry and at least 8,000 families in Fresno were behind in their rent payments.

As Yang put it, "They're trying to borrow money from friends or relatives, just to talk to their landlord just so they can at least stay on for a month or so."

The federal extension to the end of June will offer relief to families who worried they would suddenly have to move.

Sierra Saving Grace Executive Director Kristin Bizzack said, "They'll be very relieved. We get many phone calls and people are very afraid they're going to lose their housing because they have an inability to pay so yes they're going to be very relieved to know that it's been extended."

Sierra Saving Grace has been assisting Merced families who can't cover rent or utility payments.

They're not alone.

Over 10 million Americans have been struggling to pay rent.