Group protests at Mecklenburg Co. courthouse for rent to be canceled

Updated: Sep. 1, 2020 at 11:21 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The line of cars circling the Mecklenburg County Courthouse Tuesday evening are drivers demanding rent and mortgage payments be put on pause because of the pandemic.

This is a nationwide movement to protect families against evictions.

The protest was strategically scheduled for Tuesday because it’s the first of the month – a time when rent is due for a lot of people.

Instead of rent, this group of people wants relief for the people not receiving paycheck because of job loss tied to the pandemic.

“It’s a widely known problem and it’s not being treated like a widely known problem. It’s treated business as usual and it’s not going to continue. We have to stand up and we have to fight back,” said Apryl Lewis, one of the Charlotte organizers.

This group is volunteering for Action North Carolina. An organization that prides itself on standing up for families fighting poverty and socioeconomic disparities.

The car horns and chants were directed at the people who help run eviction courts and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, as sheriff deputies are the ones who deliver eviction notices.

The bottom line is, they want officials to give grace. They don’t want to see families get kicked out of their homes.

“A lot of people are running with the assumption that people aren’t trying to pay their rent at all and that is not the case. In numerous cases, I know for a fact that there are landlords who are not accepting payment,” said Lewis.

According to a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, before the pandemic, Mecklenburg County averaged 75 evictions a day.

As of July 23 of this year to Aug. 7, the county now averages 12 served eviction notices daily.

“People are out of work. People are unable to pay their rent. People are unable to pay their mortgage. It’s not to any fault of their own,” Lewis said.

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