READING, Pa. - A court order in Berks County intends to reduce evictions as a nationwide eviction moratorium expires. 

More than 3.6 million Americans are at risk of eviction, some in a matter of days. The moratorium was put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the COVID-19 crisis when jobs shifted and many workers lost income.

The order signed on Saturday says that Berks County residents have the ability to avoid eviction by applying for emergency rental assistance. Upon receipt by the Magisterial District Judge of the request, the pending eviction will be stayed for 30 days for good cause. 

The order continues to say the Magisterial District Judge in his or her sole discretion can extend a stay for up to an additional 60 days to allow for distribution of emergency rental assistance funds. 

The order writes that no stay shall exceed a total 90 days and only one stay may be imposed in any action. 

A stay to the order may only be imposed for non-payment of rent. 

The order goes into effect on August 1 and will expire on December 31, 2021 unless extended by Order of Court. 

A stay imposed prior to December 31 will survive the expiration of the order. Any stay will expire 30 or 60 days from the imposition. 

The order was signed by President Judge, Thomas G. Parisi. 

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