Federal freeze on evictions ends amid housing crunch in Utah; aid still available

By Annie Knox – KSL.COM

SALT LAKE CITY — There was no immediate surge of eviction cases filed in Utah courts Monday after a nationwide moratorium lifted over the weekend, but advocates expect a wave in coming weeks and are already fielding calls from worried renters.

The freeze on evictions had been in place since September 2020 under a directive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seeking to limit the spread of COVID-19. It offered protection to those at risk of losing their homes based solely on nonpayment.

The Utah Apartment Association, which represents landlords, contends hundreds of millions of dollars in federal rental assistance to the Beehive State has mostly helped people stay in their homes and allowed property owners to keep up on their bills. The organization says concerns about a financial cliff for renters are overblown.

Others worry more Utahns will slip into homelessness as rents rise and vacancy rates bottom out across the state.