County to resume evictions; tenants, landlords can get help

CLAYTON – Some evictions will resume in St. Louis County this week, after a year-long freeze because of the COVID-10 coronavirus pandemic.

More than 500 County eviction orders have been on hold in the past 12 months. Now, the first evictions will be of tenants who have participated in or allowed drug-related criminal activity at the rental property. If tenants pose a threat to other tenants or to landlords, or cause major damage, those tenants will also be removed. Tenants with pending evictions for commercial-use properties are also on the short list. All other pending evictions will resume April 5.

St. Louis County Presiding Judge Michael D. Burton acknowledged the challenges of the pandemic for both tenants and landlords.

“Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said in a statement. “Federal funding is available to help tenants catch up on back rent and utility bills, and help landlords recoup their losses.” 

One reason for the halt in evictions has been the health and well-being of the Sheriff’s Office employees whose job it is to carry out evictions. Two members of the office died of COVID-19-related causes last year.  As of Friday, all of the office’s employees are fully vaccinated or have had the opportunity to be. They will still be required to wear personal protective equipment.

The County explained in a press release: “Starting in April, approximately $30 million will become available nationwide to landlords to pay for rent through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and the State Assistance for Housing Relief Program. Additional funding is anticipated.” 

Information about how to get assistance from those programs will be available at as of March 29. 

Staff is home to The NorthSider and The SouthSider weekly community newspapers. The SouthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Tuesday. The NorthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Thursday. They are distributed at over 600 locations across St. Louis.

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