Durham residents rally for end to evictions during COVID-19 pandemic as protections expire

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Monday, August 24, 2020
Tenants hold anti-eviction rally
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Renters facing eviction proceedings demanded that courts stay closed and officials stop evictions.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Renters and residents rallied outside the Durham County Courthouse on Monday to demand an end to evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Carolina's moratorium on evictions expired in June, and 30 days have passed since the federal stay on evictions expired on July 25.

Residents from Durham's Lakewood neighborhood demanded that the courts stay closed and stop eviction proceedings. According to a news release from Bull City Tenants United, which organized the protest, 700,000 North Carolinians are now vulnerable to losing their homes.

"With this COVID-19 going on right now, it is so bad," said Lakewood resident Stephanie Wilder. "I'm a witness and ended up with COVID-19, by the grace of God I'm up here standing talking to y'all, you know what I'm saying? It's no joke, it's no joke. This is people's livelihood the landlords are playing with and it's not cool."

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In 2016, Durham County reported an average of 8 evictions per day, 2.73% higher than the national average eviction rate, according to data from Eviction Lab.