Florida residents facing housing crisis, hope for help

Lawanda Reason is desperately looking to find a new home after four years of living there with her two children. “I don’t know what to do at this point. Me and my two children are literally sleeping in a bedroom sharing a full-sized bed,” Lawanda Reason told WPBF 25 News. Boynton Beach: Complex rallies against rent hikes after some expected to increase by up to 50% She said she is staying with a family member right now, as she’s trying to find a new place. Reason said her rent increased from $950 to $1,500 in the past several months. “Come April 23, I get a text message saying that the following month, he’s splitting the house up for auction…house auctioned and sold for $165,000” Reason said.And that’s when the clock began to tick, as she is now rushing to find a new home. But, she knows it isn’t easy to do that with the spike in living costs in South Florida. For this reason, she decided to head to Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce Thursday morning in the hopes of receiving guidance from the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. “The goal is to prevent an eviction or any of the negative effects of eviction. Sometimes, having an eviction filing against you is something that can affect you negatively in the future,” said Ann Marie Puente, a staff attorney with Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.” To help access to legal services because of the eviction crisis going on in South Florida.”Stay informed: Local coverage from WPBF 25 NewsLegal Aid Society of Palm Beach County along with 10 other organizations received an inaugural grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a new eviction prevention program. This prompted Puente along with other staff members to make their first visit in St. Lucie County Thursday. “Our grant covers Okeechobee, Hendry, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach County. So, given that this is a program from the U.S. Department… they wanted to make sure that there’s legal services provided to all of these areas, and especially rural areas,” Puente said.Palm Beach County mayor: No rent cap to be imposed by countyPuente said she also hopes their services in the county will prompt leaders to look into ordinances that would provide tenants with more time if there are lease changes.”Hopefully if there’s any interest in St. Lucie County, to look into that. Those types of ordinances, that as a collaborative effort, working with both landlords tenants, landlord attorneys and, of course, legal aid,” Puente said.Several people came to the workshop during the week just hoping to find another person who could be an answer – or have one.”I came up here to hopefully network to see if I can find a landlord or something that may have something available. Or, to find out like, ‘Where do I stand?’ because I had a lease. My lease isn’t up until July of 2022,” Reason said. Officials with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County plan to make frequent visits, at least once a month, to St. Lucie County and neighboring counties with the two-year grant. “It’s not paying the rent that’s the issue, it’s finding a place to live that’s affordable,” Reason said. Follow us on social: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Lawanda Reason is desperately looking to find a new home after four years of living there with her two children.

“I don’t know what to do at this point. Me and my two children are literally sleeping in a bedroom sharing a full-sized bed,” Lawanda Reason told WPBF 25 News.

Boynton Beach: Complex rallies against rent hikes after some expected to increase by up to 50%

She said she is staying with a family member right now, as she’s trying to find a new place. Reason said her rent increased from $950 to $1,500 in the past several months.

“Come April 23, I get a text message saying that the following month, he’s splitting the house up for auction…house auctioned and sold for $165,000” Reason said.

And that’s when the clock began to tick, as she is now rushing to find a new home.

But, she knows it isn’t easy to do that with the spike in living costs in South Florida. For this reason, she decided to head to Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce Thursday morning in the hopes of receiving guidance from the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.

“The goal is to prevent an eviction or any of the negative effects of eviction. Sometimes, having an eviction filing against you is something that can affect you negatively in the future,” said Ann Marie Puente, a staff attorney with Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.” To help access to legal services because of the eviction crisis going on in South Florida.”

Stay informed: Local coverage from WPBF 25 News

Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County along with 10 other organizations received an inaugural grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a new eviction prevention program.

This prompted Puente along with other staff members to make their first visit in St. Lucie County Thursday.

“Our grant covers Okeechobee, Hendry, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach County. So, given that this is a program from the U.S. Department… they wanted to make sure that there’s legal services provided to all of these areas, and especially rural areas,” Puente said.

Palm Beach County mayor: No rent cap to be imposed by county

Puente said she also hopes their services in the county will prompt leaders to look into ordinances that would provide tenants with more time if there are lease changes.

“Hopefully if there’s any interest in St. Lucie County, to look into that. Those types of ordinances, that as a collaborative effort, working with both landlords tenants, landlord attorneys and, of course, legal aid,” Puente said.

Several people came to the workshop during the week just hoping to find another person who could be an answer – or have one.

“I came up here to hopefully network to see if I can find a landlord or something that may have something available. Or, to find out like, ‘Where do I stand?’ because I had a lease. My lease isn’t up until July of 2022,” Reason said.

Officials with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County plan to make frequent visits, at least once a month, to St. Lucie County and neighboring counties with the two-year grant.

“It’s not paying the rent that’s the issue, it’s finding a place to live that’s affordable,” Reason said.

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https://www.wpbf.com/article/florida-st-lucie-county-housing-eviction-crisis-rent/39916032