Central Florida leaders discuss housing, evictions amid global pandemic

Governor's suspension on evictions, foreclosures ends July 1

ORLANDO, Fla. – Heart of Florida United Way CEO Jeff Hayword said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have economic consequences for Central Floridians.

On Wednesday, he held a meeting with local leaders to discuss what he calls a housing crisis in the community.

"Employees have lost their jobs, they've had their hours cut back, families have not been able to pay their rent, mortgage and utilities," Hayward said.

From March 17, 2019, to June 17, 2019, there were over 2,300 residential eviction cases filed in Orange County. In the same period of 2020, there have been less than 300 residential eviction cases filed.  We expect there is a backlog of at least 2,000 cases, and more likely a multiple of that.

"I think now that we are going to have some issues that will be litigated in these eviction cases I envision we will see many more," Myers explained.

Tiffany Moore Russell, with the Orange County Clerk of Courts, said July though October is typically when they see a high peak in evictions.

“Normally between July and October we deal with 1,000 a month of filing so you can just imagine what it will be like when the moratorium is lifted,” Russell said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis placed a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in Florida until July 1.

The governor’s office told News 6 on Monday the decision on whether to extend the eviction moratorium past the July 1 deadline is still “under review.”

On Tuesday, Orange County Commissioners voted not to move forward with a special public hearing to freeze rent prices. The proposal came from commissioner Emily Bonilla, who wanted the initiative on the November ballot.

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