Iowa Legal Aid sees huge increase in calls about eviction


DES MOINES, Iowa -- An Iowa organization offering free legal services says the state is seeing a big jump in evictions.

"We've had about a 140 percent increase in calls just about eviction alone. Starting in about September of last year, we kept bracing for the end of the moratorium and it kept getting extended," says Iowa Legal Aid Assistant Litigation Director Ericka Petersen.

She says Iowa Legal Aid knew the increase was coming as a federal pandemic moratorium on evictions expired last Saturday.

"We were seeing a decrease in eviction filings. Our thinking is that the moratoria worked, but now it's over and that increase in calls is going to be translated into an increase in eviction filings," Petersen says.

She says Iowa Legal Aid says it's setting up shop in courthouses in some of Iowa's largest counties.

"We're actually at the courthouses in Polk, Linn, Johnson, Black Hawk, and Scott counties. So, we're at the courthouses prior to eviction hearings, and people--if they show up--could be able to talk to us," Petersen says.

She says people who might be eligible for Iowa Legal Aid's services can apply online at iowalegalaid.org, or by calling 1-800-532-1275


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