Congress allocated $200 million for Mississippi rental assistance in the latest stimulus package. Here's how to add yourself to the waitlist. Credit: Associated Press

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered a stop to some evictions and residential removals beginning Sept. 4 to the end of the year.

But a renter must provide a declaration to their landlord or property manager, certifying that the order applies to them, for it to work.

For people who may not have access to a printer, the Kentucky Equal Justice Center developed a computer application that allows people facing eviction to fill out and sign the CDC document online and email it to their landlord. Click here to use the tool.

Some justice court judges, the people in charge of evictions across Mississippi, are being more proactive, informing tenants of the option. But others are conducting business as usual, only considering the CDC order when it comes up.

Hinds County has seen 260 evictions and 78 warrants of removal just in the last 2 weeks.

The CDC issued a nationwide eviction moratorium that took effect Sept. 4, but it only works if the tenant asks for it, which means they must be aware it exists. https://t.co/PwiNj8Y2Z6

— Anna Wolfe (@ayewolfe) September 17, 2020

The order covers people who: 1) earned less than $99,000 in 2020, 2) are unable to pay rent due to income loss, a layoff, or extraordinary out-of-pocket expenses, 3) are making their best effort to pay what they can, 4) have made their best effort to secure other government assistance for rent or housing (such as the Rental Assistance for Mississippians Program (RAMP)), and 5) face homelessness if they are evicted.

Mississippians facing eviction may fill out the document below to invoke the CDC order:

 


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Anna Wolfe, a native of Tacoma, Wa., is an investigative reporter writing about poverty and economic justice. Before joining the staff at Mississippi Today in September of 2018, Anna worked for three years at Clarion Ledger, Mississippi’s statewide daily newspaper. She also worked as an investigative reporter for the Center for Public Integrity and Jackson Free Press, the capital city’s alternative newsweekly. Anna has received national recognition for her work, including the 2021 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the 2021 Collier Prize for State Government Accountability, the 2021 John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Award, the 2020 Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award and the February 2020 Sidney Award for reporting on Mississippi’s debtors prisons. She received the National Press Foundation’s 2020 Poverty and Inequality Award. She also received first place in the regional Green Eyeshade Awards in 2021 for Public Service in Online Journalism and 2020 for Business Reporting, and the local Bill Minor Prize for Investigative Journalism in 2019 and 2018 for reporting on unfair medical billing practices and hunger in the Mississippi Delta.