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New Bedford Residents Seek Rental Assistance Amid Extension of Eviction Moratorium

Daniel Ackerman
Gloria De La Cruz and Corinn Williams staff the Community Economic Development Center's outreach booth on New Bedford's Acushnet Avenue.

Some South Coast residents are increasingly concerned about housing security, even as the Biden administration extended the federal moratorium on evictions on Tuesday.

Corinn Williams, who heads the New Bedford Community Economic Development Center (CEDC), said her organization has seen more residents seeking help accessing rental assistance programs. The CEDC provides interpretation services for Spanish and K’iche-speakers. “There’s definitely been an upswing,” said Williams.

The eviction moratorium initially lapsed over the weekend, before Tuesday’s announcement of the extension through October 3rd. Details of the extension are still emerging, and it could face challenges in court. The moratorium aims to keep residents housed, even if they lost income and fell behind on rent during the pandemic.

A tight housing market in New Bedford is making the task harder. “We’re seeing these rapid rent increases happening and the supply of available apartments is going down,” said Williams. “So there’s a real crunch in the neighborhood.”

Since October 2020 in Bristol County, where New Bedford is located, landlords have filed to evict nearly 1,500 tenants who have fallen behind on rent.