Gov. Roy Cooper extended a statewide moratorium on evictions through Jan. 31, 2021, amid a holiday season accompanied by surging new Covid-19 infections and a comprehensive vaccination effort with newly available shots. Cooper’s move was an expansion on an existing action taken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that postponed evictions federally starting in September.
A press release from Cooper’s office stated approximately 485,000 adults renters across the state are not caught up on rent, and nearly three million adults “reported difficulty in covering usual household expenses, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.”
Evictions statewide were first delayed by N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley. In a March 15 memo, Beasley informed all local court systems that summary ejectments (evictions) must be postponed. Cooper followed with an executive order in late May that put a three-week hold on both residential and commercial evictions for the reason of late or nonpayment.
After the initial support moves expired in the summer, lawmakers first declined to extend them. By late July, a CARES Act eviction moratorium had expired, leaving N.C. with a backlog of more than 10,500 eviction cases, while the N.C. Department of Employment Security was simultaneously averaging over 8,000 unemployment claims a day at the time. Many cases in the backlog stemmed from paused claims made prior to the pandemic/
The first wave of eviction moratoriums lasted 81 days, and Cooper later took on the issue in October after the summer lapse, expanding on CDC orders that blocked evictions for reasons of nonpayment through the end of the year.
Executive Order 184 extends the moratorium in N.C. through the first month of 2021.
“Too many families are living on the edge, trying to do the right thing, but left with impossible choices. This Order will help them stay in their homes, which is essential to slowing the spread of the virus,” Cooper said in a press release.
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