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Organizations providing housing assistance amid new, temporary eviction moratorium

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 9:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a new temporary eviction moratorium.

It’s buying tenants some time but only for a couple more months.

The previous federal eviction moratorium expired on July 31.

On Tuesday, August 3, the agency announced the moratorium would support people in counties with substantial and high transmission of COVID-19.

The order allows extra time for families and individuals to get rent relief and increase vaccination rates.

According to data from the CDC, nearly all of the counties in North Carolina are experiencing substantial and high transmission of the virus.

Housing support organization DreamKey Partners says rental assistance applications are pouring in after the federal eviction moratorium ended on July 31.

“It spoke to the urgency that people were feeling about the moratorium being lifted,” said Erin Barbee with DKP.

Barbee says within the last five days DKP has received close to 800 applications for rent, mortgage, and utility support through the Ramp CLT program.

“Because the CDC didn’t enact its order until the third everyone that was served evictions between the first and the third is our highest priority because we want to keep them successfully housed,” Barbee said.

Applications for RAMP CLT are open from the 1st through the 15th of every month and provide support for families, individuals, and landlords. The program is in partnership with the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

It’s important to note there are five priority levels within the application for rental assistance.

Priority #1: Eligible applications with a household income of 80% AMI or below that have been served an eviction notice and has court within 90 days.

Priority #2: Eligible applications with a household income of 30% AMI or below and have been unemployed for 90 days or more.

Priority #3: Eligible applications with a household income of 50% AMI or below and have been unemployed for 90 days or more.

Priority #4: Eligible applications with a household income of 50% AMI or below or have been unemployed for 90 days or more.

Priority #5: All other eligible applications at 80% AMI and below.

Click here for additional resources through RAMP CLT.

Legal Aid is also providing assistance to tenants by providing free legal representation.

Services are free for those who qualify. In many cases, they are able to negotiate settlements with landlords and assert legal defenses for tenants in eviction court.

Tenants who are interested in applying may visit legalaidnc.org or call the toll-free hotline at 1-866 219-5262.

Crisis Assistance Ministry is also providing housing navigators to communicate rental assistance to people in need. Click here to find resources through Crisis Assistance Ministry.

Hearts Beat as One Foundation is on the ground giving out food, clothes, toiletries and bringing rental assistance information to people in homeless encampments across the city.

“We have another team that comes in that has the paperwork that has the computer to do all of that work on-site,” said Bethany McDonald with Hearts Beat as One Foundation.

When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, Hearts Beat as One is educating people on the COVID-19 vaccine and giving them a lift to get their shot if they want it.

“Getting any of these individuals out to these vaccination spots. We’re working on offering that transportation if even just that support of having someone go with you to do something you don’t know anything about,” McDonald said.

Time is ticking on the new moratorium but Barbee says there’s still funding available.

“We have enough funds still in the pipeline in order to help our most vulnerable,” McDonald said. “We still have over $7 million from the city and $5 million from the county so that we can help people in the city of Charlotte and the townships.”

The city of Charlotte also has a dispute settlement program that offers free mediation services.

You can call the Landlord-Tenant Line at (704) 336-5330 or click here for more information.

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