CHARLOTTE — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium ended on Saturday. If the government does not extend the moratorium again, many people could lose their homes and owe thousands in missed rent payments.
In Mecklenburg County, agencies that provide rent assistance told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke that 19,000 tenants are behind on rent. Legal Aid estimates it’s 22,000 or more.
Tangela Davie told Action 9 she is one of those people. She said she was homeless and “by the grace of God” found an apartment in the University area. She said she’s a massage therapist, but the pandemic hurt business, so she got behind on rent.
She said her landlord planned to evict her when the moratorium ends.
“It’s just been very hard,” Davie said.
She said she applied to RAMP CLT for rental assistance and on July 2 the group agreed to pay for eight months, which is more than $9,400.
But Davie said the money hasn’t come through yet, so she’s worried her landlord isn’t going to wait and kick her family out anyway.
“But I’m not giving up. I’m a fighter. I’m not going to give up,” she said.
Stoogenke emailed Davie’s landlord last Wednesday to see if the company would wait for the RAMP money to come through. They didn’t respond in time for this report.
To help Davie cover her bases, Action 9 also told RAMP about her concerns. The group promised to look into it.
Another agency that can help people impacted by the moratorium ending is Crisis Assistance Ministry (704-371-3001).
“Our primary goal is to help prevent homelessness and keep people stably housed,” Liana Humphrey from Crisis Assistance told Action 9.
The organization relies on donations.
“The community’s been extremely generous. That’s partly why we’ve been able to help over 17,000 people since COVID is due to the generosity of the community donations,” she said. “So we anticipate that the need is going to continue for a while, so just ask people to continue to give however they can.”
If you live in Mecklenburg County, you can also apply to the emergency housing assistance program, RAMP CLT, for help paying rent. You can get money to cover everything you owe, plus as many as three months of rent moving forward.
Starting Sunday, all people who have an eviction court date coming up within 90 days of their application were placed in the highest-priority category. You can also apply if you need help with utilities or your mortgage.
DreamKey Partners, the group running RAMP CLT, said it hired more people to handle all the cases they anticipate coming up.
If you need help in another county, call the NC HOPE program to find out who to contact (888-9ASK-HOPE).
If you rent in Charlotte, the city has a Dispute Settlement Program. Mediators help landlords and tenants work out agreements and avoid court. The program is free and confidential.
Call 704-336-5330 or click here.
Renters from any city or county can contact Legal Aid. Their service is also free and confidential. The group told Stoogenke that it is preparing for all the additional renters who will have to go to court starting next week.
Contact Legal Aid at 866-219-LANC (5262) or online at www.legalaidnc.org.
Stoogenke reminds renters that landlords are required to go to court and get a judge to sign off on an eviction – that’s called a “summary ejectment.” Be sure your landlord doesn’t try to tell you something different.
If you’re facing eviction specifically for not being able to pay rent, Stoogenke would like to hear from you. Please email him at Action9@wsoctv.com.
(WATCH: Federal lawmakers accuse some landlords of ignoring moratorium, rental assistance money)
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