Behind on rent in Charlotte? What to know before the COVID eviction moratorium ends

By Lauren Lindstrom, The Charlotte Observer

Charlotte tenants behind on rent because of the pandemic are urged to apply for assistance, just days before the federal eviction moratorium expires.

Leaders from the city and DreamKey Partners, the nonprofit administering federal rent relief money, say they’re gearing up for more applicants as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order expires July 31.

While it didn’t cover all evictions, the order halted evictions for nonpayment of rent where tenants had a pandemic-related hardship and signed a declaration attesting to that.

As courts prepare for more hearings, Charlotte leaders are urging people to seek available assistance to avoid losing their homes.

“Our goal is always to get the funding out as quickly as possible to those who need it the most,” DreamKey President Julie Porter said.

An estimated 250,000 North Carolinians are behind on their rent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

CHARLOTTE RENT RELIEF

Applications for the RAMPCLT program, which nonprofit DreamKey Partners administers on behalf of the city and county, reopen Aug. 1.

Residents can apply for rent, mortgage or utility assistance there.

Porter said her organization has increased staffing and is considering putting eviction prevention staff in the courthouse to work with people there.

Renters earning up to 80% of the area median income ($67,350 for a family of four) are eligible to apply. First priority will be given to those with an eviction notice and a court date within 90 days, followed by those with the lowest incomes.

Those who cannot apply online are encouraged to call 980-406-7509 for assistance.

There’s still $7.8 million available for Charlotte renters. While funding for Mecklenburg residents living outside the city is currently exhausted, Porter said they have a pending contract with the county for another $5 million. Additional state funding is also expected.

For those behind on rent who don’t meet RAMPCLT eligibility, additional aid is available through Crisis Assistance Ministry. More information is available on the website, crisisassistance.org.

LEGAL AND OTHER RESOURCES

Charlotte’s Dispute Settlement Program offers “free mediation services with a trained, neutral, third-party mediator who will work with landlords and tenants to reach an agreement,” according to the city’s website. Call the landlord-tenant line at 704-336-5330 or Dispute Settlement Program website for more information.

Information about tenant rights and legal representation regarding evictions is available through Legal Aid of North Carolina.

Read more at The Charlotte Observer

 


 

Main Photo: After a magistrate orders a tenant to be evicted, in a few days sheriff’s deputies arrive, the landlord changes the locks, and a sign is posted on the door. 

This story was produced by the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of six media companies working together in an effort started by the Solutions Journalism Network and funded by The Knight Foundation.

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