Gov. Cooper expands protections against evictions with new executive order

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As many North Carolinians are struggling to make ends meet while the pandemic trudges on, Gov. Roy Cooper issued an extended order that will help eligible renters dodge eviction and keep the lights on in their homes.

On Wednesday, during a Coronavirus Task Force response update, Cooper announced an executive order that will strengthen the--already in place--eviction protection program, NC HOPE, to help North Carolina renters stay in their homes.

The newly issued Executive Order No. 171 works to clarify the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moratorium that temporarily prevented residential evictions nationwide from Sept. 4 through the end of the year, and how it affects North Carolinians. The order works to ensure NC HOPE recipients are guaranteed assistance regardless of the CDC order's status in other courts.

Two weeks ago, the state launched the NC HOPE (Housing Opportunity to Prevent Evictions) initiative, a federally funded rental assistance program that would pay up to six months of rent and utilities for eligible North Carolinians.


"Many families are trying to do the right thing, but this virus has made it difficult. Roughly three to 400,000 households across North Carolina are currently unable to pay rent. Therefore, today, I have signed a new Executive Order to prevent evictions in North Carolina for people who can't afford the rent," said Cooper. "The result during this global pandemic will be more North Carolinians staying in their homes, more landlords getting paid rent, and fewer utility companies shutting off power. That's a good thing."

Approximately 300,000 to 410,000 households across North Carolina are unable to pay rent, according to a report from the National Council of State Housing Agencies. It is also expected that another 240,000 eviction filings submitted by January of next year.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Cooper said more than 23,000 applications for the NC HOPE program were received in less than two weeks.

FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

"The HOPE program is going a long way to help families stay safe in their homes by using coronavirus funds responsibly to pay landlord and utilities directly," said Cooper. "My administration is continuing to find ways to help struggling renters, but we still need Washington to put partisanship aside and send more relief to North Carolina."

Those who want to apply for the HOPE program can by calling 2-1-1 or by clicking here.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.