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“In the News” – January 2021 – Evictions in NC – Where Do We Stand Now?

“In the News” – January 2021 – Evictions in NC – Where Do We Stand Now?

Evictions in NC – where are we now?

On his first day in office, U.S. President Joe Biden formally requested that officials extend the nationwide bans on evictions and foreclosures hours after his inauguration.

President Biden asked the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend the federal eviction moratorium until March 31, 2021. Calling the measure a “protective public health measure,” the new CDC director, Rochelle Walensky, announced that she had extended the moratorium upon Biden’s request.  Public-health officials have warned throughout the pandemic that evictions could lead to people living in more crowded settings, including shelters, which could hasten the spread of the coronavirus.

President Biden also requested that the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development consider extending their moratoria on foreclosures for federally guaranteed mortgages and deadlines for forbearance requests until that same date.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency had already extended the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until Feb. 28.

Earlier this month, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper has signed an executive order to extend the state’s eviction moratorium through Jan. 31.

The HOPE (Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions) Program, which Cooper started earlier this year to provide rent and utility assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income renters, has provided over 21,000 renters with $37.4 million in aid.  North Carolina, which according to a recent study ranks 17th nationally for highest risk of evictions. Under the program, tenants, landlords and homeowners can apply for relief funds.  Applications fill up quickly and open up again as more funding is secured.

Cooper said North Carolina expects to receive approximately $700 million from legislation signed by President Donald Trump. The package will include funding for vaccine distribution, schools, hospitals, small businesses, as well as direct payments to individuals and funding for rental assistance. 

Separately, Biden has called on Congress to pass legislation to provide more money for rental assistance and to extend the eviction moratorium until the end of September 2021. Last September, the CDC first issued the nationwide ban on evictions in an effort to minimize homelessness and protect against the spread of Covid-19.  Biden indicated before his inauguration that one in five renters and one in 10 homeowners are behind on their monthly housing payments.

Extending the eviction moratorium will also give renters more time to apply for and receive billions of dollars in emergency rental assistance that lawmakers passed in December under President Trump.

Many advocates and industry officials have warned that more support is needed for the nation’s renters. The rental assistance that was passed in December fell far short of the $100 billion that housing experts estimated was needed.  Congress is expected to act with additional stimulus funding for rental and landlord assistance soon.  With moratoriums in place, it is important for landlords to understand their limitations, and equally seek assistance for non-paying tenants during this time.

Written By MY Home Leasing Property Manager – Laura Grant