Polk County Resident Faces Eviction as Congressional Leaders Announce Aid Package

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DES MOINES, Iowa — While Congressional leaders worked through the weekend to provide a relief package, a Des Moines resident is facing eviction.

“It’s been really hard,” said Polk County resident Carlos Mendoza Gonzalez. “It’s been three months of constantly worrying about what I’m going to do. [There] was a point when I felt like I couldn’t handle it anymore.”

But as renters feel the pressure so do landlords. 

“I can’t speak for all landlords, but if you communicate with us and you try your hardest to get that money to us. We don’t want to put you out. That’s not our intention,” said Chris Fetters, the property supervisor for Conlin Properties.

However, relief may be in sight. On Sunday, congressional leaders struck a deal for a relief bill. The legislation could provide $25 billion in relief in emergency assistance for renters. 

But the Justice Center Project, which is managed but the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, believes the money could come too late. 

“Frankly if they decide to distribute it through the Housing and Urban Development, then it will be very slow in getting here, just because of the bureaucracy,” said Eric Burmeister, the executive director for the Polk County Housing Trust Fund. “If the government decides to distribute the dollars through the Department of the Treasury, for example, then it could get here fairly quickly, within a couple of months. But again, we are still looking at bridging a gap between the time people receive their eviction notices and the time the money gets here.”

Although Carlos does not believe in receiving handouts from the government, he does believe in receiving help when he is in need. 

“I don’t want the government to take care of me my whole life or something like that. I just need that little push so that I can go forward, that’s it,” he said.

As for residents facing eviction, Burmeister advises people to show up to their court hearing to receive help from the Justice Center Project.

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