How an end to the federal eviction moratorium would affect Wisconsin

There are currently no rules on the state level stopping evictions in Wisconsin.
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 7:06 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A federal moratorium aiming to halt evictions across the U.S. could soon end.

The CDC eviction moratorium went into effect in September of 2020. With the economic impact of the pandemic, the agency worried about people losing their homes and shelters becoming overcrowded.

Despite the rule, many have still been evicted. In Wisconsin, more than 10,000 evictions have been filed from September 2020 to April 2021. About 600 of those filings were in Dane County, according to Legal Action of Wisconsin.

Not all these people were actually evicted but the numbers paint a picture of just how many are struggling.

Last week, a federal judge ruled that the national eviction moratorium issued by the CDC exceeds the agency’s authority. The U.S. Department of Justice is appealing that ruling and an emergency stay is in place until a decision is made by a higher court.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway says addressing the long-term issues of housing insecurity should be an immediate priority.

“Part of our problem is we have more people moving to Madison than we are creating housing units,” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway. Affordable housing and the need for more options continues to grow across Dane County.

The Tenant Resource Center is still backlogged from when it initially opened its program for emergency rental assistance.

“We have right around 11,000 applications. We’ve worked through about three quarters of them,” said Robin Sereno, Executive Director.

For now, the federal eviction moratorium remains in place but even if it makes it through the appeal, it is still set to end on June 30th.

“That’s a big concern...we’ve certainly asked the governor to put a statewide moratorium in place,” said Sereno.

NBC15 reached out to Gov. Evers’ office about bout the possibility of a state moratorium.

A spokesperson told us that since the Wisconsin Supreme Court barred Gov. Evers from declaring a public health emergency relating to COVID-19, he does not have the authority to issue a pause on evictions.


Small claim filings from Sept. 2020-April 2021

Statewide: 2020

  • Sept: 1,295
  • Oct: 1,386
  • Nov: 13,36
  • Dec: 1,513

Statewide: 2021

  • Jan: 1,307
  • Feb: 1,163
  • Mar: 1,286
  • April: 1,086

Total: 10,372

*Court data compiled by Legal Action of Wisconsin

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