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Kansans financially strapped due to COVID-19 no longer shielded from evictions, foreclosures

Photo: Courtesy of MGN/Tony Magpantay
Photo: Courtesy of MGN/Tony Magpantay(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 9:46 PM CDT
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An executive order that's protected renters and homeowners in Kansas from evictions and foreclosures since March is now expired. And with that, some fear evictions will skyrocket across the state after debt has piled up for the last two months.

"With this ban expiring, I believe we will see an avalanche of evictions like we have not seen before," says Christina Ostmeyer, representing Rent Free Kansas. "The COVID-19 pandemic compounded a crisis that was already present in Kansas."

It's especially a challenge for some who are already two months behind on rent and fear evictions are next.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly's office says the governor felt comfortable lifting the order as the state transitions into a recovery period.

Peterson Companies, which owns the Horizons East apartments in east Wichita, says a small percentage of tenants have struggled to pay rent since the start of the pandemic more than two months ago. However, the company says there could be consequences for those who haven't set up a payment agreement. Evictions would follow.

Some fear the protection against evictions had foreclosures ended too soon. Currently, there are no state-level protections in place against utility disconnections. However, Evergy has continued the ban on disconnections until July 15.

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