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Eviction Update: St. Louis Court Extends Eviction Moratorium Through January

"It makes me feel really alone in this world," said Christine Rudolph, a few days after being evicted from her home in Jefferson City. Missouri tenants facing eviction are unsure how to follow a stay-at-home order when they no longer have a home to go to.
David Kovaluk
St. Louis Public Radio

As the expiration date approached, St. Louis officials extended the eviction suspension through Jan. 31 to protect tenants financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Previously, the suspension was effective through Jan. 4.

The original suspension was put in place March 20 and has been periodically extended since.

Thom Gross, spokesman for the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri, said earlier this month that there are various differences and overlaps between the city’s suspension order and the CDC’s federal moratorium on evictions. But, both have the welfare and safety of residents in mind.

The eviction suspension protects tenants from evictions except in the following cases when they engage in criminal activity on the property; threaten the health and safety of other residents; damage or pose an immediate and significant risk of damage to property; violate building codes, health ordinances or similar regulations; violate any other contractual obligations.

It also excludes evictions of those who have received judgments for drug-related activity and possession of commercial properties.

If the suspension expires in January, up to 40 million U.S. renters could face eviction, according to studies from the Aspen Institute and the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project. Eighty percent of those potentially facing eviction nationwide are Black or Hispanic.

Earlier this month the region's three utility providers — Spire, Missouri American Water and Ameren — extended a suspension of nonpayment shutoff until Jan. 5, due to the holidays.

As of Thursday, St. Louis had 16,186 positive coronavirus cases, which have resulted in 302 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. St. Louis County has had 69,480 cases since the beginning of the pandemic and 1,391 deaths, also as of Thursday.

Dana Rieck is a reporter for the St. Louis American, a news partner of St. Louis Public Radio.