ST. LOUIS (AP) — Protesters on Monday demanded that St. Louis officials do more to prevent evictions after a federal suspension on evictions expired.
About 40 protesters occupied the St. Louis mayor’s office.
“The city needs to respond very, very quickly,” Kristian Blackmon with Homes for All St. Louis told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “This affects poor folks, Black and brown folks, immigrants.”
The federal eviction moratorium ended Sunday, and there are more than 3,000 pending St. Louis eviction cases.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones announced that residents could now apply for rent aid directly through the city. She set aside another $1.5 million to help speed up the application process.
“I am disappointed in our federal government’s inability to extend this critical protection for families,” Jones said in an earlier statement. “I have been ringing the alarm about this crisis since June while federal relief funds have been tied up in political games.”
But protesters said that was too little, too late. They chanted, “Where’s the money?” during demonstrations.
“There’s rental assistance available, but the application is tedious — it’s a long, drawn-out process, and then the money isn’t coming out,” organizer Shuron Jones said. “[Applicants] don’t hear back.”