For Providence family, impending eviction moratorium expiration is personal

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The federal eviction moratorium is set to expire this weekend, meaning millions of Americans may soon be forced from their homes.

Susely Morillo and her family are among that group. She said her family have been fighting to stay in their Providence apartment for months, but their landlord, Alberto Perez, wants them gone.

Perez said while the eviction moratorium provides relief for tenants, he feels the landlords have been forgotten.

“That’s the worst thing that has happened, the moratorium,” Perez said. “It has been the worst thing that the government has implemented.”

Court eviction documents obtained by 12 News reveals Morillo and her family haven’t paid their rent since November. In total, they over more than $11,000 in back rent, Perez said.

“Out of my own pockets I have been paying,” Perez said. “I want them to get out and give me my apartment.”

Morillo and her family recently filed a counterclaim, in which they said their living conditions are unsafe and there’s “an infestation of rodents and insects.”

“My daughter has bites from roaches,” she said. “If you go through my closet, you’ll see where the rats come in, you can hear them walking.”

Perez claims he’s hired an exterminator. Morillo said she and her family have no choice but to live there because she can’t afford to move elsewhere.

“I couldn’t find an apartment, it’s been hard to find an apartment,” she said. “We are taking $1,600 for a month, $1,800 for a month, a credit score of 600 plus.”

Jenn Barrera with the Rhode Island Coalition To End Homelessness is worried about the expiration date and the impact it will have on millions of families struggling to rebound from the pandemic.

“I think the effect is going to be devastating,” Barrera said. “Although we have had an influx in resources through the recovery funding, there is just such a finite stack of housing available and I am concerned.”

Morillo said she did apply for emergency relief funding through the state’s RentReliefRI program, however, Perez refused to participate.

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