LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- In a Monday press conference, Gov. Steve Sisolak extended the eviction moratorium by 45 days and earmarked an additional $10 million for a rental assistance program. The moratorium was initially set to expire on Sept. 1 at 12:01 a.m.
According to the governor's office, the move is meant to allow counties to pay out short-term rental assistance to landlords, provide flexibility for newly adopted mediation programs and assist the state with a backlog of unemployment claims.
"Today's directive does not change any tenant's obligation to pay rent," Sisolak said.
The state has already approved $30 million in funds to local government to provide relief for tenants and landlords. The additional $10 million will help support this effort. However, Sisolak said the burden of payment will not disappear.
"It is critical that tenants and landlords continue to work together to come to resolutions," Sisolak said. "This moratorium cannot go on forever."
The extension will also help the alternative dispute resolution in the courts to help tenants and landlords come to resolutions. The court will move "as fast as possible" to get the program going, Sisolak said. Sisolak also empowered the Supreme Court of Nevada to waive the 60-day requirement to create new program rules.
The Supreme Court launched a free mediation program after the approval of Senate Bill 1 during Nevada's Special Session on Aug. 7. Mediation helps parties negotiate payments before court appearances or eviction proceedings.
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
Since its creation on Aug. 6, the state-appointed Rapid Response Strike Force has analyzed the Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation's backlog and identified about 5,000 people who will be paid in the coming week.
The group Nevada Realtors responded to the announcement Monday night, saying they were "very disappointed" with the decision.
See the full statement below:
On behalf of Nevada REALTORS® and our more than 18,000 members throughout the state, we are very disappointed in Gov. Sisolak’s decision today to extend the state’s eviction moratorium for another 45 days. We recognize that thousands of Nevadans may be facing eviction because they have lost their jobs or had their incomes reduced since this pandemic and economic downturn began in March. We understand and sympathize with their situation. We also appreciate the many property owners and tenants throughout the state who have been working together to find individual solutions during these trying times. However, this extension creates a tremendous hardship for thousands of property owners in Nevada, who are now unable to collect the rent they are owed for at least another 45 days. Many of these property owners are retirees, people living on fixed incomes and mom-and-pop landlords who own one or two homes and rely on this rental income to support themselves and their families. Many of them will now have no recourse or way to cover their own expenses. To make matters worse, Gov. Sisolak’s decision only gives these property owners less than a day’s notice to determine what to do next. Nevertheless, NVR will continue working with Gov. Sisolak and others to create a pathway for Nevada property owners to access the courts and mitigate damages, while doing everything possible to keep tenants in their homes and make sure homeowners have the ability to pay their mortgage.