Action News Jax investigates eviction issues during the coronavirus pandemic

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax continues to investigate eviction issues. Hundreds of local students reported motels as their primary residence. Action News Jax spoke to a family with a 9-year-old girl who was kicked out of a motel in Arlington.

Since Action News Jax began an investigation last week into eviction issues at extended stay motels, several families have come forward with similar experiences.

A mother, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear, said her family was kicked out of the Regency Inn off the Arlington Expressway Sunday night because they fell behind on rent payment.

She said her 9-year-old daughter, who’s in the 4th grade, was unable to do her online classes Monday because they didn’t have access to WiFi.

Good Samaritans gave the family $50 for a night at the motel, but they don’t know where they are going to go from there.

An Action News Jax follow up investigation found hundreds of local students live in motels and could face similar hardships.

Data from the Florida Department of Education reveals nearly 500 students in the Duval County Public School District reported motels as their primary residence in the 2017-2018 school year.

Baker, Clay, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties each had less than 100 students living in motels:

Baker: 11

Clay: 65

Duval: 490

Nassau: 32

Putnam: 48

St. Johns: 95

The governor’s office told Action News Jax the executive order to temporarily suspend evictions applies to the inability to pay rent by residential tenants.

Florida residents unable to afford housing payments due to the COVID-19 emergency may apply for assistance at the federal and state levels.