GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The CDC’s eviction moratorium is set to end on June 30 with no announcement of an extension.
Meaning landlords will once again be able to kick you out for non-payment of rent.
Some of those tenants have animals, so the Humane Society of West Michigan is figuring out a way to help.
“It’s kind of 'prepare for the worst and hope for the best,'” said HSWM Executive Director Holly Guild.
The shelter has more than 200 animals.
At the start of the pandemic locations across the country were worried about returns as the rate of adoptions was increasing. Luckily, that has not happened.
“So all the animals that were adopted during the pandemic are staying in their new homes, which is fabulous,” said Guild.
The humane society is working on a list of pet-friendly locations around West Michigan.
Renters may be forced to move at the end of the month when the eviction moratorium is set to expire. It was put in place to help people who lost their jobs during the pandemic and could not afford rent.
“If people are losing wherever they’re renting now and needing to find new housing,” said Guild. “Not only is it a little more difficult to find pet-friendly housing but it’s also more expensive. People have to pay a pet deposit, and a lot of places it’s an extra monthly fee.”
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority does not project mass evictions in July.
This is mostly because the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program can provide funding to help renters avoid it.
Plus, if they’ve applied for the funds, special court rules require a 30-day suspension of the eviction. Those kicked out for other reasons can contact their local Housing Assessment Resource Agency.
Those with pets may have more of a challenge if they can’t find help, and they may have to bring them to a shelter.
“We are consistently housing about 50 percent of our pets in fosters,” said Guild.
This is why the shelter is also putting out a call for more foster families just in case evictions force people to make that tough decision.
The best part is that they pay all the medical bills and cover the food.
“It’s much less stressful for our pets, they stay healthier, and we get a lot more valuable information about how they do in a home and what kind of family will be best for them,” said Guild. “Any family who fosters for any length of time ends up keeping something, you know, even if it’s a hamster or a bunny.”
Surrendering is usually the last option because there’s a chance their previous owners will never get them back. If you know things are about to change in a few weeks, plan ahead now.
“Don’t wait till the last minute,” says Guild. “If you know you’re getting evicted and you have a date, start calling around—even if it means that you have to surrender your animal to a shelter; a lot of shelters have waiting lists—I know we have a waiting list currently for cats. So plan ahead.”
For a list of pet-friendly locations in the Lansing area, you can reach out to the humane society.
There are a few requirements if you’d like to foster.