LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Judge Melissa Saragosa is chief judge of Las Vegas Justice Court. The court is currently processing about 1,000 CARES Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) applications each week.
CHAP is the program to help people who are behind on rent and/or utilities due to pandemic hardship. Saragosa said in all, there are as many as 9,000 applications in the system and it’s a constant inflow of new applicants.
There are some misconceptions out there.
Even with CDC protections and the CHAP program, evictions do continue in Clark County. One reason is that landlords can evict based on nuisance complaints. Another reason is that tenants believe that there is a moratorium that just automatically protects them.
Saragosa said it’s not so much a moratorium, but a stay on evictions, but tenants need to be proactive and some are not. The judge said people need to have an application in the system and it should be in the system before the landlord sends an eviction notice. People are eligible for help whether their landlord has served an eviction notice. Evictions are currently running about 2,500-3,000 a month but she says it’s a hard number to nail down.
Saragosa said since July 2020, Clark County has spent $165 million on rent and utility assistance. That’s about half of the the county’s allocation from the federal government’s $47 billion earmarked to help people pay their rent. The judge said they hope to help another 30,000 households.
There is a backlog in Clark County. Last week, they were working on applications that came in at the end of April. Again, this is where having an application in the system helps, to protect people during that eight or nine week lag between filing and receiving money.