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Gov. DeSantis putting residents on 'emotional roller coaster,' state senator says

Moratorium extension comes hours before deadline
State Sen. Lori Berman
'Eviction Notice' strikeout sign in front of home
Posted at 3:27 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 17:56:05-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Renters facing evictions were given another lifeline this month after Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday extended a moratorium on evictions.

The extension came with only hours left to spare, causing tense moments for some residents.

"It's almost like your holding your breath, and it is a sigh of relief," said resident Kari Safran. "I am grateful for that, but it isn't because I don't want to pay."

RELATED: Some landlords feel squeeze of Florida's eviction moratorium

She said she has been able to pay part of her rent because she has been out of work as an administrative assistant since March.

The only money that has been coming in is unemployment.

Kari Safran
Palm Beach County resident Kari Safran says she has been struggling to pay her rent after losing her job earlier this month.

The mother of three children said it is the uncertainty of not knowing when and if she will be evicted that causes the most stress.

"It’s so draining. It takes everything out of you," Safran said.

The decision to extend the moratorium has become a monthly source of stress waiting for the governor to announce a decision usually only hours before it expires.

State Sen. Lori Berman, a Democrat from southern Palm Beach County, is critical of how the governor is handling it.

"He puts people (on) this emotional roller coaster waiting until the day before and then doing it for 30 days, so they get a slight reprieve. And now, starting in about two weeks, they'll start getting panicked again and back on this emotional roller coaster, and it's heart wrenching," Berman said.

Safran said she is already worrying when the moratorium expires on Oct. 1.

"We can't technically be evicted, but every day that goes by, it's a day closer to the next one," said Safran.

Safran said she worries how long it will take her to catch up on her rent once she is able to find work.

“At some point, there's going to be a cliff where people will not be able to pay back the money they owe. We got to figure out a way to help them," Berman said.