90-year-old Vet evicted during pandemic

Clarence Washington, 90, has been through a lot- including service to our country. 

“I was in the 96th Air Force,” Washington said. “That was in Korea in the 50’s.”

But on Tuesday, he experienced something different, eviction. 

“They said they had a court order because I hadn’t paid my rent,” he said. 

He watched helplessly as his belongings were set outside. 

“Set out on the lawn,” he said. “One-bedroom apartment, about 3 rooms of furniture. 

Washington admitted, he got behind on rent. 

“Two years ago, when I first moved into this place, I was making twice as much as I do now,” he said. “So with the loss of income, I was having a problem.”

Washington said due to poor health, he missed vital court dates, but he was under the impression he was protected by Federal pandemic guidelines, for a little while at least. 

“It would be December, or the later part of December before I would be facing eviction,” he said. 

He was right, in a way. The CDC have pandemic protections when it comes to evections, but you have to opt in to that protection - by signing a form indicating that you meet the requirements and are working to pay off the debt. 

Attorney Anthony Lubkin is familiar with Washington’s situation and said tenants need to be aware of these options before it’s too late. 

“You can apply for Cares Act Aid,” Lubkin said. “The landlord would just assume to get their money from the government than kick you out anyways.”

As for landlords, Lubkin said maybe a one size fits all approach isn’t the best. 

“You might lose a little income, but the gain you get in good will might be worth it,” he said. 

We have reached out the Clarence’s leasing office, but have not heard anything back.