Study finds 1/5 of renters in Missouri at risk of eviction, housing problems extend nationwide

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The coronavirus pandemic has had a major economic impact on many in the Springfield area and across the nation.

A study by the Aspen Institute found that one in five renters in Missouri is at risk of eviction.

Many are finding it harder to pay utilities.

“Service providers in that area are reporting as much as 200% increases both in quantity of calls and amount of assistance requested,” said Sarah Owsley, policy manager for Empower Missouri.

On July 7, a ban against shutting off utilities ended in Springfield. Now, federal funding for housing is running out, but the need is growing.

“We will not know the full expanse of the need for six to eight months,” Owsley said.

The federal CARES Act offered economic relief to Americans and banned evictions. But, with different jurisdictions across the state of Missouri, it’s unclear whether landlords and courts are following the ban.

“It seems likely that there are places people could be evicted even if they’re covered by the moratorium,” said Connie Lee, a Missouri eviction expert.

The problem extends beyond Missouri.

In Washington, the House passed a second stimulus bill, but the Senate is working on its own version.

The federal ban on housing evictions is set to expire July 25.

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