A Central Florida non-profit is warning about a tidal wave of evictions after Gov. Ron DeSantis granted an extension Tuesday to the state's temporary ban on evictions and foreclosures.
The executive order on the moratorium, which was set to expire July 1, now extends it until Aug. 1.
On Wednesday, Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) President Jeff Hayward said he feared thousands of families would face homelessness with Orange and Osceola counties reporting some of the state's highest unemployment rates.
"Rent continues to accrue. The moratorium does not mean that people don't need to pay rent. It means they can't get evicted right now for not paying their rent," Haward said.
According to HFUW, 14,000 requests for assistance have been made between March 17 and July 1. With demand outpacing the organization's recovery fund, Hayward said he would like to see a plan from the community to help families in need.
"We cannot just sit back and let the process play out without at least trying to help some families," he said.
Hayward said fundraising has been difficult during the pandemic, which further adds to the struggle of getting families the help they need.
While he encouraged people to donate to local non-profits if they can, he also urged leaders in the community to unite to come up with a solution before the next deadline expires.
"Come together, get some smart people around the table and let's get to work as we have in the past," Hayward said.
For further details about the United Way and how to help, visit https://www.hfuw.org/