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Adams Asks Local Leaders to Extend Eviction Moratorium in Mecklenburg County

Jul 21, 2021
Press Release
Nationwide, up to 40 million tenants may be facing eviction or experiencing housing insecurity due to the combination of the affordable housing crisis and the economic repercussions of the pandemic

Charlotte – Yesterday Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) sent a letter to Chief District Court Judge Elizabeth Trosch, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden, and Mecklenburg County Clerk of Superior Court Elisa Chinn Gary asking for them to “do everything within [their] powers to effectively extend the eviction moratorium in Mecklenburg County through the month of August or later.”

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an eviction moratorium in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to a Supreme Court Decision, the federal moratorium will end on July 31. North Carolina residents will be vulnerable to eviction starting on August 1st, 2021.

“In my discussions with the organizations and local leaders on the front lines of this crisis, it is clear we are unprepared for a deluge of tenants seeking assistance in August, and local service providers will have to resort to triage …” wrote Congresswoman Adams. “Durham County Chief District Justice Court Judge Patricia Evans has extended the moratorium in her judicial district through August for tenants who have applied for rental assistance,  so these actions are not without precedent. The importance of shelter as a primary physiological need cannot be overstated; a mass exodus of tenants will create an unacceptable burden on our local governments, our schools, our first responders, and our non-profit service providers. We must prevent undue challenges to our housing insecure neighbors.”

A copy of the letter is available here, and below:

Dear Judge Trosch, Sheriff McFadden, and Clerk Chinn Gary,

In our decades of public service, North Carolina and Mecklenburg County have never faced a challenge as great as the public health emergency and economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationwide, up to 40 million tenants may be facing eviction or experiencing housing insecurity due to the combination of the affordable housing crisis and the economic repercussions of the pandemic. 

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an eviction moratorium in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The moratorium prevents the eviction of tenants who are unable to make rental payments and has allowed tens of thousands of families to remain in their homes across the United States. However, due to the June 29 holding from the Supreme Court of the United States in Alabama Association of Realtors v. Department of Health and Human Services, 594 U.S. _____ (2021), the federal moratorium will not be renewed after this month. Furthermore, Governor Roy Cooper announced that the North Carolina moratorium ended on July 1, almost certainly ensuring that North Carolina residents will be vulnerable to eviction starting on August 1st, 2021.

I write you today to ask you to do everything within your powers to effectively extend the eviction moratorium in Mecklenburg County through the month of August or later.

In my discussions with the organizations and local leaders on the front lines of this crisis, it is clear we are unprepared for a deluge of tenants seeking assistance in August, and local service providers will have to resort to triage. RAMP CLT has assisted over 5,600 households but has almost three times as many applications. In Charlotte, 9,401 people have applied for RAMP CLT funding; in Mecklenburg County, 5,126 people have applied, and all funds are exhausted.  In anticipation of the eviction moratorium lifting, RAMP CLT will prioritize any tenant with an eviction filing at 80% AMI and below to be processed quickly to avoid the potential of experiencing homelessness. Crisis Assistance Ministry has seen and assisted approximately 17,000 families for rent and utility assistance since the pandemic began. Normally, a family’s need is about one month’s rent on average, but today Crisis is regularly seeing three months’ rent need or more. 

Due to the anticipated needs, other jurisdictions are trying many common-sense solutions.  Some states are maintaining the eviction moratorium until they lift their state of emergency, while Oregon is effectively suspending evictions until 2022.  Minnesota and Nevada are preventing tenants in the process of applying for rental assistance aid from being evicted.  Durham County Chief District Justice Court Judge Patricia Evans has extended the moratorium in her judicial district through August for tenants who have applied for rental assistance,  so these actions are not without precedent.

The importance of shelter as a primary physiological need cannot be overstated; a mass exodus of tenants will create an unacceptable burden on our local governments, our schools, our first responders, and our non-profit service providers. We must prevent undue challenges to our housing insecure neighbors.

I hope you will consider this request to extend the eviction moratorium and join me as we work together to address this crisis. Mecklenburg County families have no time to wait.

Sincerely,

 

Alma S. Adams, Ph.D.
Member of Congress
North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District


Congresswoman Alma Adams represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte, Huntersville, Mecklenburg County) and serves as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture. Additionally, she serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Education & Labor Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee.

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