ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque woman says the pandemic has made it so her family can’t afford to pay rent. Monday, she was issued an eviction notice. Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies went to the woman’s Nob Hill home Monday afternoon to issue her the eviction notice. That’s when she went to Facebook Live to document the incident.
“We are in a pandemic and we are poor people and we are still serving our community, and we’re being told that we have to leave,” she said in the video.
Selinda Guerrero has been renting the Nob Hill house for about three years until she got the visit from BCSO. She says three people in her home lost their jobs during the pandemic, making it difficult for the family to continue to pay for rent.
During the 45-minute Facebook Live video, Guerrero claimed city and county officials do not care about poor and oppressed people, like herself. She made several call-outs to Mayor Tim Keller and Sheriff Manny Gonzales to show up to do something about handing out evictions during a pandemic.
However, back in March, the Supreme Court put a pause on evictions throughout the state if tenants could prove they were unable to pay rent during the pandemic. A spokesperson for the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court said, if Guerrero called the court and showed a judge proof that she couldn’t pay rent because of the pandemic, then she would not have been evicted.
Guerrero says she did not know that was possible. “It’s not like we wouldn’t have gone and tried to do that process if we would’ve known it was available,” she says.
BCSO says they are only doing their jobs when a judge signs off on an eviction notice. They say they are willing to help tenants appeal an order if they do get a notice.
Right now, Guerrero says she is appealing but has no plans to stay at that home. A Supreme Court spokesperson says the order to pause evictions is still in effect, and so far, there is no end date.