RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new Executive Order Wednesday to prevent evictions for people who can’t afford their rent.
Executive Order No. 171 requires landlords to make residential tenants aware of their rights under the CDC Order. For eviction actions commencing after Executive Order No. 171, landlords must give residents the option to fill out a declaration form before starting any eviction action.
“Many families are trying to do the right thing, but this virus has made it difficult. Roughly three to 400,000 households across North Carolina are currently unable to pay rent. Therefore, today, I have signed a new Executive Order to prevent evictions in North Carolina for people who can’t afford the rent,” said Governor Cooper. “The result during this global pandemic will be more North Carolinians staying in their homes, more landlords getting paid rent, and fewer utility companies shutting off power.”
The economic toll of COVID-19 has left thousands of families struggling to make ends meet. According to a report from the National Council of State Housing Agencies, approximately 300,000 – 410,000 households across North Carolina are currently unable to pay rent, and an estimated 240,000 eviction filings will be submitted by January 2021.
“Without today’s action, almost a quarter of a million eviction filings could be submitted by January 2021,” Cooper said in a news conference Wednesday. “Many families are trying to do the right thing, but this virus has made it difficult. Today’s order builds on the CDC’s federal eviction moratorium. It requires landlords to ensure tenants are aware of the CDC protections and how to claim them.
Two weeks ago, Cooper launched the $117 million NC HOPE program that provides assistance to eligible low-and-moderate income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic by making direct payments to landlords and utility companies. This program has received 22,800 eligible applications as of today. Given the demand for assistance shown over the last two weeks, the state will continue working to boost the HOPE program so it can help more North Carolinians make ends meet.
“This Order makes it clear that the CDC moratorium applies to all eligible North Carolinians, not just those who live in federally subsidized housing. And it ensures that recipients of North Carolina’s HOPE program are still able to qualify for these protections.
“The result during this global pandemic will be more people staying in their homes, more landlords getting rent and fewer utility companies shutting off power. NC HOPE remains available to assist people with payments by calling 2-1-1 or visiting nc211.org/hope.
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