Raleigh, N.C. — Eviction filings are already up by 40% in Wake County as landlords prepare for to eviction moratorium to end on Saturday.
The protection has allowed people to stay in their rental homes and apartments throughout the pandemic, even if they lost their jobs or incomes.
The moratorium was originally scheduled to end on June 30, and already Wake County courts have seen a 40% increase in eviction cases filed from May to June.
Eviction notices went out to nearly 700 people in Wake County last month.
Then the CDC extended the moratorium by one more month. Now, courts are getting ready for a flood of eviction notices.
“It looks pretty grim right now,” said Isaac Sturgill, a housing attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina, a team of attorneys providing free representation for low-income renters facing eviction.
“We believe there are a lot of families out there who have been protected by that law who are now going to be facing eviction,” he said.
Eviction projections based on current statistics in North Carolina
- Eviction filings have already increased by 40% in Wake County, 37% in Durham and 55% in Johnston County.
- According to data from Zillow, 209,675 renter households in North Carolina are currently behind on rent.
- It’s estimated there are 50,413 renter households currently at risk of eviction.
- Zillow projects there will be 7,843 eviction filings in North Carolina and 5,139 are likely to result in eviction.
Sturgill worries landlords will lockout tenants within days.
What happens if you get an eviction notice?
Many renters will receive a document called a ‘complaint in summary ejectment,’ which begins the process of eviction.
If a tenant faces eviction, they will get a packet from the clerk’s office that includes a Tenant’s Rights and Obligations Handbook.
The Assistant Clerk of Court said landlords are already filing evictions before the moratorium ends, knowing it will take 10 to 14 days to get a court date here in Wake County.
Wake County is opening an extra courtroom to handle the number of expected eviction cases.
Rental assistance programs and free legal aid
Housing advocates are urging people to apply for rental assistance now to avoid an eviction.
Programs like RAP in Cumberland County have millions of dollars in rental assistance money to give out to renters.
Rent relief through House Wake and the HOPE Program is still available, even after the moratorium comes to an end. House Wake made more than $33 million available for rent relief.
Orange County has a Housing Helpline that connects people with eviction diversion, homeless services and other resources, which can be reached at 919-245-2655 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They also offer eviction diversion programs that can provide free legal representation to families facing eviction.
The Orange County Emergency Housing Assistance (EHA) program also assists people with rent, mortgage and utility payments. People can apply online.
Live in another county, but need help with rent? The state has $800 million to distribute.
Legal Aid says low-income renters facing eviction have ten days to appeal and can stay in their homes by paying rent to the court as a bond.
Read the full article here