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Advocates call for more protections for renters amid pandemic

Mutual Aid Hartford, and Cancel Rent CT, were among those standing in solidarity with the family, and for all who are struggling to pay rent amid the pandemic.

HARTFORD, Connecticut — Several groups joined together Friday afternoon, to rally in support of a Hartford family with young children, facing eviction.

Mutual Aid Hartford, and Cancel Rent CT, were among those standing in solidarity with the family, and for all who are struggling to pay rent amid the pandemic.

"This is not the only family I spoke with this week that's dealing with eviction," said Kerry Ellington, with Cancel Rent CT.

"A family with an eviction on their record finds it almost impossible to secure safe housing," said Shanice Morris, with Mutual Aid Hartford.

According to the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, there have been more than 2,000 evictions in Connecticut since September. This, despite an eviction moratorium the governor put in place and extended until April.

"There are hundreds or thousands of evictions still happening in the state even under the moratorium this goes to show the shortcomings of the moratorium," said Stephen Poland with Cancel Rent CT.

Advocates are calling for more protections for renters, and for rent relief, since the state's rental assistance program is currently closed.

"Real, authentic, rental assistance programs that are targeted to people in eviction court, and not these programs where there's a thousand conditions for it or are really inaccessible to apply for," said Ellington.

The Connecticut Department of Housing says it's currently developing a new rental assistance program separate from the previous one and anticipates it will launch in March.

The Hartford family who faced a court hearing Friday will have 30 additional days before they need to move after an agreement was reached.