DES MOINES, Iowa – With the repeatedly extended federal eviction moratorium finally set to expire at the end of the month, the state is bracing for a surge in evictions. It’s a reality dozens of metro tenants are already facing.
People living at the Jefferson Apartments received notice last week they’ll need to move out, but with no timeline of when or how long. A letter from the Krause Group said the property “does not meet our standards” and the company has “begun the process of vacating the building.”
“People are just scared here,” Tim Coltrain, a resident at Jefferson Apartments, said. “I have a place to go so I’m going to be OK I believe, but I’m really concerned about the people I know and I’ve lived here with for the last two and a half years.”
Tenants are now scrambling to find a new place to live, something thousands of Iowans could face at the end of the month. Iowa Legal Aid is worried come Aug. 1 when the moratorium ends, evictions will increase across the state.
“Right now at this very moment it’s very, very concerning because we’re already expecting this massive surge in evictions,” Ericka Petersen, assistant litigation director with Iowa Legal Aid, said. “So we’re gonna have this massive surge and now this unexpected problem of these very large-scale evictions unrelated to non-payment of rent and related to seemingly other issues.”
A Krause+ spokesperson did provide these points in a statement:
- No one is being evicted.
- This is about health and safety and making sure the Jefferson Apartments meet the high standards to which Krause+ is committed.
- The apartments, common areas and building systems need significant upgrades, maintenance, and cleaning. Addressing these issues will require access to the units for repairs. Unfortunately, tenants will need to relocate during this process.
- We will work with our residents to help them secure housing while we take the important steps of ensuring the property undergoes necessary improvements.
With no timeline mentioned, current tenants are uneasy about what’s to come.
“I fear that a lot of these people might end up in the homeless shelter,” Coltrain said, “and that really makes me sick. I mean they’re really decent people that don’t deserve this.”
Residents at Jefferson Apartments tell WHO 13 they have not been offered any help from the Krause Group. One says he plans to meet with Iowa Legal Aid to find out what his options are.
The organization says the best thing people can do in this situation is to reach out early. You can call Iowa Legal Aid at 1-800-532-1275 or reach out online.