By Joan Murray

CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – Broward teacher Jeanette Herbert has always paid her bills on time. But because of the pandemic, she’s two months behind on her rent.

For the first time ever, she’s facing eviction along with her four children at their two-bedroom Coral Springs apartment.

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“I was waiting on my income tax return and that never came through because the IRS has less workers,” she said.

She’s not alone Fearing the worst.

There could be a tidal wave of South Florida renters uprooted when the national COVID-related ban on evictions expires Saturday.

“The numbers I hear, there are 20 to 25 percent of people behind in their rent,” said Fort Lauderdale attorney Chad Van Horn. “And in South Florida, finding affordable housing isn’t easy.”

Van Horn helps people fighting evictions.

“I see a rush to the courthouse by landlords to file evictions. People don’t realize in Florida it’s a quick process. You’re out in two weeks,” said Van Horn.

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In Miami-Dade, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has been on the frontlines trying to help families avoid being forced out.

“We’ve been able to help 3,500 families so far,” she said. “I am the sheriff. No one serves writs of possession, nobody effectuates eviction except the police department. And they are working through every single case.”

Miami-Dade’s renters assistance program will start up again Friday. You can log in here to fill out an application.

Broward also has renter help available. You can click here to sign up. There are also four locations to fill out the forms in person:

  • Housing Foundation of America
    2400 N. University Drive, Suite 200
    Pembroke Pines, FL 333024
  • Housing Foundation of America
    1773 N. State Road 7, Suite 101-D
    Lauderhill, FL 33313
  • Crisis Housing Solutions (at the Northwest Family Success Center)
    10077 NW 29th St.
    Coral Springs, FL 33065
  • Consolidated Credit
    5701 W. Sunrise Blvd.
    ​Fort Lauderdale, FL 33313

Herbert is hoping to hang on and not be evicted.

“My credit could be affected and I want to own a house someday,” she said.

Attorney Van Horn says it never hurts to talk to your landlord.

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“Sometimes it’s a phone call between two reasonable people working something out,” he said.