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(March 25, 2020) -  Governor Pete Rickets issued an Executive Order Wednesday to suspend eviction hearings until May 31st for tenants are unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused by Covid-19.  The Governor's action followed a request by Mayor Jean Stothert and Douglas County Board of Commissioners Chairman Clare Duda to landlords and property owners to waive or suspend evictions if a tenant is currently not able to pay rent due to loss of job or income.

Mayor Stothert and Chairman Duda sent a letter Tuesday to approximately 3,000 landlords and property owners registered with the City of Omaha Planning Department, as well as the Metropolitan Omaha Property Owners Association and the Nebraska Apartment Association.

While the City of Omaha and Douglas County do not have authority under state statute to require a moratorium on evictions, Mayor Stothert and Chairman Duda have asked landlords to consider financial hardship “until the pandemic subsides and emergency health measures have been lifted”.

“The consequences of COVID-19 will be far-reaching,” said Mayor Stothert. “We are concerned about economic hardships for many.”

“Commissioner Rodgers has helped me realize this is a public health issue,” said Chairman Duda.  “I have been a landlord most of my life so I really do understand this issue.  Everyone is doing what we can during this time and here is an opportunity for landlords to help.”

The letter to landlords and property owners applies only to evictions. Mayor Stothert encourages tenants to be responsible and pay the monthly rent on time unless they are unable due to COVID-19.

The Apartment Association of Nebraska has also asked it's members for a 90-day stop on evictions for financial hardship, to develop rent payment plans, accept partial payments and waive late fees.

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