The moratorium on evictions has been extended. What you should know

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ordered a 60-day renewal of the national moratorium on evictions, offering possible relief to North Carolina residents who are struggling to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the federal moratorium, tenants can also apply for rent assistance through an expanded state program.

Renters can apply for protection under the CDC order, or they can apply for rent assistance through the state’s HOPE program. Here’s what you need to know about each:

Moratorium on CDC evictions

Who is eligible?

Under the new CDC decree, a tenant who meets the following conditions is eligible for the moratorium:

  • Has an annual income of $ 99,000 or less for an individual or $ 198,000 or less for joint filers.
  • Did her best to get government assistance for rent or housing.
  • Lost income (maybe hours or wages) or has extraordinary medical expenses.
  • Do their best to make partial payments on time that are as close to full payments as the circumstances allow.
  • For whom the eviction would probably make the person homeless or forced to move in a situation of shared or collective life.
  • Lives in a county with “substantial” or “high” levels of community transmission of COVID-19.

How does this moratorium differ from previous ordinances?

The coverage area is narrower than previous orders, Sturgill said. Under previous orders, tenants had to meet five of the six requirements above. Now, tenants must meet all prerequisites and live in areas with “substantial” or “high” levels of community transmission to be eligible.

Which counties in North Carolina currently have “substantial” or “high” levels of community transmission of COVID-19?

Ninety-six of the state’s 100 counties had “substantial” or “high” levels of community transmission as of August 3.

Currently, the ordinance does not apply to the counties of Bertie, Hertford, Hyde or Warren, according to Sturgill.

Is the moratorium automatic if I am eligible?

No. Renters who believe they qualify should complete the CDC Declaration Form and present it to their landlord.

What if I signed a declaration and gave it to my landlord sooner? Do i need a new one?

No. “If a tenant has already signed a declaration and gave it to their landlord, they don’t need to make a new one,” Sturgill said.

If I am a landlord, does this order prevent me from evicting all tenants?

No. Landlords are still allowed to evict tenants under certain circumstances. “Evictions, for example, for criminal activity of threatening behavior, destruction of property or violation of health safety codes, or lease violations other than non-payment… can still go ahead,” Sturgill said.

Can my landlord still file an eviction request against me?

Yes. “This moratorium will not necessarily stop the filing of cases,” Sturgill said. “It just says that for tenants who are covered, the landlord cannot go through the actual foreclosure, the eviction itself, if the tenant is protected.”

What if my riding is one of the four that were not initially eligible, but subsequently exhibits “substantial” or “high” levels of community transmission?

If a county that is not currently eligible becomes eligible, residents can then apply for the moratorium. If a currently qualified country reaches levels below “substantial” or “high” for 14 consecutive days, the order will no longer apply.

What if my landlord has already filed an eviction? What if there is a judgment but I haven’t been fired yet?

“For people who have been filed and still have a pending court date, this can help them stop the process,” Sturgill said. “Even for people who have already been tried against them but the lockdown has not yet taken place, these people would fall within the scope of this ordinance.”

If I use the CDC’s moratorium, when will it end?

The order will expire on October 3.

HOPE program

What is the ESPOIR program?

The Housing Opportunities and Eviction Prevention Program began in October 2020 to address the financial challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program provides funds to help tenants in North Carolina and is funded by US Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant-Coronavirus funds and US Department of Treasury Coronavirus Relief funds, according to a press release. from the governor’s office.

Who is eligible for HOPE funds?

Applicants must have “a household income of less than or equal to 80% of the region’s median income for the county in which they live,” according to the program’s website.

Applicants must also reside in one of the 88 counties served by HOPE.

What if I don’t live in one of the 88 counties served by the program?

Residents of the 12 counties not served by the program are eligible to apply for local rental and utility assistance programs, said Laura Hogshead, COO of the NC Office of Recovery and Resilience.

In addition, five state tribal governments (the eastern band of the
The Cherokee Indians, Coharie Tribe, Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, and Waccamaw-Siouan Tribe provide separate assistance from the HOPE program.

What help can I receive through HOPE?

“Eligible applicants can receive up to 12 months of rent assistance, which can include up to nine months of rent in arrears,” according to the program’s website.

What is the maximum amount of rent that will be paid by the program?

The maximum rent amount is the fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit in your county. Applicants can determine Fair Market Rent using the HUD Fair Market Rent Online Documentation System.

The eligible amount has increased since the program was announced. “The monthly rent award limit has increased by 30% and the utility award limit has increased by 100% for all new applications as of August 1,” Hogshead said.

How can I get the funds?

Rent funds go directly to the landlord, and utility assistance goes directly to the utility provider.

Does acceptance into the program prevent my landlord from evicting me?

“Landlords who accept this phase of the HOPE funds agree not to evict the applicant for non-payment of rent during the assistance period and for at least 60 days after the end of this period,” according to the website.

How can I apply for the HOPE program?

Applications are available on the hope.nc.gov website or by calling 888-9-ASK-HOPE.

Once I apply for HOPE funds, how long will it take?

“The turnaround time between request and payment is typically 14-18 days, so help to tenants and landlords will come quickly,” Hogshead said.

I’m already behind on the rent. Can I still apply?

Yes. Funds are available for up to nine months of rent in arrears.

Can I apply for assistance from the public services?

Yes, if you receive rental assistance. Utility assistance is available for the following:

  • Electricity: up to $ 510.
  • Natural gas, propane or fuel oil: up to $ 135.
  • Water: up to $ 105.
  • Wastewater: up to $ 120.
  • Requests for assistance to utilities only will not be accepted.

I applied in the first round. Can I apply again?

Yes, but the rent assistance provided during the first phase of the HOPE program counts towards the nine months of overdue rent assistance that an applicant may receive.

I am a landlord and my tenant cannot pay their rent. What can I do?

The HOPE program recently added a feature that allows landlords to recommend tenants. A representative of the program will contact the tenant regarding the request.

How much money did the program distribute?

“Since the opening of the HOPE program last fall, more than $ 328 million has been awarded to help families in North Carolina and more than $ 234 million has already been paid to homeowners and utility providers in statewide, ”Governor Cooper said.

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