BUTTE, Mont. - The Supreme Court’s recent decision to end the nationwide eviction moratorium means many people across the country will need to pay the rent or find a new place to stay, and Montana is no different.
That moratorium, extended as recently as early August by President Joe Biden, had covered 39 of 56 counties in Montana, including Silver Bow. It was initially put in place by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as a way to aid home renters through the pandemic, especially those in places where COVID-19 rates are prominent.
But with the moratorium no longer in effect, data suggests that as many as 3.5 million households across the nation could be impacted.
Margie Seccomb, the CEO of the nonprofit housing assistance organization Action Inc. in Butte, says the company is already seeing a spike in people without a home.
“Pre-pandemic, our coordinated entry list, which is a list of people that are literally homeless, was 32,” Seccomb said. “It’s over 100 now.”
Seccomb called the current state of housing a crisis, citing increased rent prices and shortages of affordable housing in Butte and nationwide.
However, despite the ongoing situation plenty of resources for housing relief remain available. Alongside Action Inc., Butte provides a number of agencies, including the Southwest Montana Community House Center, the Butte Rescue Mission, the Salvation Army and more.
Additionally, both landlords and those who are having trouble paying the rent are encouraged to visit housing.mt.gov to access the application for emergency rental assistance.