Gov. Roy Cooper signs executive order preventing N.C. evictions for those unable to pay rent

Updated: Oct. 28, 2020 at 3:16 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Governor Roy Cooper has signed a new executive order to prevent evictions in North Carolina for people who can’t afford their rent.

This comes amid the coronavirus pandemic that has forced thousands of people to lose jobs and be out of work, causing financial hardships.

The governor says roughly 300,000-400,000 households across North Carolina are currently unable to pay rent.

Gov. Cooper says without this order, almost a quarter of a million eviction filings could be submitted by January 2021.

“Many families are trying to do the right thing, but this virus has made it difficult,” Gov. Cooper said.

This new executive order builds on the CDC’s federal eviction moratorium that requires landlords to ensure tenants are aware of the CDC protections and how to claim them.

The order also makes it clear that the CDC moratorium applies to all eligible North Carolinians, not just those who live in federally subsidized housing.

The governor says it ensures that recipients of North Carolina’s HOPE program are still able to qualify for these protections.

Two weeks ago, officials started the NC HOPE initiative that provides renters who are at 80 percent or less of the median income of a county with up to six months back rent and utility payments.

The money in that initiative is paid directly to landlords and utility providers. It ensures renters can stay in their homes with the lights on. Gov. Cooper says state officials received more than 23,000 applications in 14 days.

Gov. Cooper says the result during this global pandemic will be “more people staying in their homes, more landlords getting rent and fewer utility companies shutting off power.”

NC HOPE remains available to assist people with payments by calling 211 or visiting

In addition, to help ease housing concerns, North Carolina is funding the Back@Home program, which helps families experiencing homelessness and provides financial relief to some landlords whose tenants are at risk of homelessness.

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