Coronavirus in Florida: With eviction protections ending, many who lost their job fear living without a home

Moratorium on evictions in Florida ending, leaving many with uncertain future
Moratorium on evictions in Florida ending, leaving many with uncertain future

HIALEAH, Fla. – Countless Floridians are facing uncertainty due to the state’s moratorium on non-payment evictions ending on Wednesday. 

One South Florida woman told Local 10 News her landlord has already tried to kick her out. 

Adele Penny received a notice to get out of her Hialeah rental home in May, despite an official freeze on evictions for non-payment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s like life and death you are going to kick me and my family out on the streets because you can’t get a couple hundred dollars,” she said. 

Penny said her daughters had been helping her make ends meet before the pandemic. She had agreed with her landlord to move out of by March, but then came the novel coronavirus. Both daughters lost their jobs and Penny has been unable to find one. 

Attorney Guerby Noel represents Penny and got her case dismissed. That’s because since March, non-payment eviction cases are suspended under an executive order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

"They found themselves in their current situation whereby they are unemployed with no means of actually paying the event through no fault of their own," said Noel. 

The governor extended that order last month, but it’s now set to expire by Wednesday. Unfortunately, for many renters like Penny, the situation has not improved.

“I don’t know where my fate is, what’s next for me, what do I do now,” Penny said. 

As coronavirus cases continue to climb, Noel predicts so will the number of people out of work, now potentially without any protection to keep them in their homes. 

“There are many landlords out there that are waiting in the wings to file their evictions, and all things point to there being an avalanche of eviction cases for non-payment,” Noel said. 

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