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Pandemic causes rise in evictions

Posted at 10:51 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 00:51:25-04

TWIN FALLS — The South Central Community Action Partnership usually helps around 20 families a day with things like food, utility assistance, and housing issues, but because of the pandemic, they are now helping more than 40 families a day.

"There has been a large number of people who have lost their jobs. They have been laid off, some of them have been terminated because businesses can't start up again. Those folks who have never had to use South Central Community Action in the past find themselves coming through our doors looking for assistance with food, housing, and utility," Ken J. Robinette, CEO of South Central Community Action Partnership, said.

Idaho recently announced they will be allocating $15 million from the Cares Act Funding to rent relief to help families facing eviction notices. The South Central Community Action Partnership says these funds will help them support families through next year.

They say the pandemic has not only affected housing issues, but they have also seen more people living in unliveable circumstances.

"People today are just taking advantage of the market because it is growing exponentially huge, as far as being able to put people into affordable housing. We have seen where garages are converted into studios, which is probably not meant for human living," Robinette said.

And when it comes to receiving financial support, some families face barriers.

"Well, many economically disadvantaged families have many barriers in front of them, and getting into the resources and not understanding the resources is one of those. So with us, we have a website. We have a Facebook post; you're able to get in and at least find out directions or contact our office. We're able to help you navigate because sometimes working through federal systems can be very complicated," Robinette said.

They say they usually see more families needing support during the holidays, and they expect to see even more this year, but they will continue to provide support.
"The worst thing we want to do is have more people out on the street homeless because our current homeless shelter is already with limited space available," Robinette said.

If you need support with food, paying utilities, or housing assistance, you can visit their website.