Friday, January 28, 2022


The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory; and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.


Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement; the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic; and AZ lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.


Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

Families Face Winter Evictions Across Nebraska


Monday, December 27, 2021   

This story was updated to correct Scott Merten title December 27 at noon MST.

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's eviction moratorium expired in August, eviction court filings in Nebraska are on the rise, even in parts of the state where evictions had historically been non-existent or rare.

Erin Feichtinger, director of policy and advocacy for the Omaha-based group Together, said most people now facing homelessness lost jobs during the pandemic through no fault of their own.

"Close to 70% of the people applying for emergency rental assistance are female heads of households with families," said Feichtinger. "And we also know that evictions are disproportionately impacting communities of color."

She said while families in rural parts of the state are being forced out of their homes, entire neighborhoods that faced historic disinvestment and redlining are seeing the highest eviction rates.

Advocates for property owners have argued that landlords need paying tenants because banks still demand monthly mortgage checks.

Scott Mertz, housing justice project manager with Legal Aid of Nebraska, said families worried about losing their homes as winter bears down should talk to a lawyer, because renters do have rights under the state's landlord-tenant laws.

He said most low-income renters qualify for free counsel. Their toll-free number is 888-991-9921.

Mertz added that Nebraska still has not distributed millions of federal rental-assistance dollars.

"If it's an issue of 'well, of course that person is going to be evicted if they are not going to pay,' - money is readily available," said Mertz. "Money is still unspent here in Nebraska, millions of dollars of it. It can be accessed by the landlords. "

Feichtinger said a main driver of the rise in evictions is the lack of affordable housing - not just in urban centers, but across the state - for people living paycheck to paycheck. She said her group will be busy in the upcoming legislative session making sure policy makers understand the depth of the crisis.

"And also encouraging them to use this opportunity that we have with the ARPA funds," said Feichtinger, "to take this moment and to really make a significant investment into affordable housing in communities all across Nebraska."

get more stories like this via email
Solar energy would have been used to replace carbon-based power sources under Arizona's proposed clean-energy plan. (andreiorlov/Adobe Stock)


Frustrated environmental and clean-energy advocates say after four long years of debate and compromise, regulators sent Arizona back to the starting …

Social Issues

When North Dakotans head out to cast their ballots later this year, there is a chance some will do so in a voting center and not a designated …

Social Issues

South Dakota continues to grapple with its low ranking when it comes to paying schoolteachers, but the issue is getting focus in 2022, including a …

Older Washingtonians take more prescription drugs on average and so are disproportionately affected by rising drug costs. (kmiragaya/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to limit the growing cost of prescription drugs. Senate Bill 5532 would establish a …


The Maryland Air National Guard is considering a proposal to establish airspace where military planes would fly as low as 100 feet over the Pennsylvan…

The new grants are via the 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital program, which also calls for $25 billion to repair roads and bridges. (Adobe Stock)


The state of Illinois is allocating nearly a quarter-billion dollars to support new downstate transit and ports projects. Roughly half will go …

Health and Wellness

Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have …

Social Issues

More than 300 Kentucky farmers participated in the state's Farms to Food Banks program last year, and at a recent virtual rally, state officials said …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021