Federal eviction moratorium set by the CDC is scheduled to expire July 31

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —The federal eviction moratorium set by the CDC is scheduled to expire on Saturday.  Many people who have been impacted financially by the pandemic, may be scrambling to find rental assistance or long term aid.

The CDC’s eviction moratorium will expire July 31, and the federal pause on evictions is not expected to be extended again.

Wilmington Housing Authority CEO Katrina Redmond says the need for housing assistance is high, and their waiting list is so extensive it will take years to work through.

“We unfortunately are not able to take anyone on an emergency basis. With the end of the moratorium on evictions, I do expect we may be even getting more calls. I wish we had the inventory and the ability under the regulations to take more individuals and families, but we do not,” said Katrina Redmond, Wilmington Housing Authority CEO.

This past March, the Department of Social Services opened applications for its Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Social Services Director Tonya Jackson says they don’t expect to see an immediate jump in people asking for assistance once the moratorium ends, but say they may see a gradual increase over the next few months.

“We’ve have been readily taking applications as they have been open, did a lot of PR, and our hopes is that people who were in that type of strain or stress, where rent was concerned, have already applied or at least have an application pending,” said Tonya Jackson, New Hanover County Department of Social Services Director. “We will be trying our best to do some interference and have some conversations with landlords, should we need to.”

New Hanover HHS has helped more than 2,800 people with the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, but applications are temporarily suspended as the agency waits on additional funding.

“The pandemic has been something that we have never seen before in our history, and I think we have all struggled and tried to maintain housing for individuals and families,” said Redmond

Jackson offers a reminder, that anyone that may have been impacted directly or indirectly by the pandemic, might be eligible for rental assistance through the program.

“Anybody that is 30 or up to 50% of the median income level for the Wilmington metropolitan area, are considered priority in our program, but we assist anybody up to 80% of the median income level, and that is basically our deciding factor,” said Jackson.

New Hanover County Health and Human Services expects to receive funds and reopen applications for The Emergency Rental Assistance Program before August 15.

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