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Mecklenburg Sheriff, Nonprofits Brace For Wave Of Evictions As Moratorium Ends

Mecklenburg County leaders and local nonprofits are preparing for a possible wave of evictions when the federal eviction moratorium runs out this week.

The eviction moratorium from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to expire onSaturday,July 31, allowing landlords to once again evict tenants for nonpayment of rent.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office will have eight deputies assigned to handle the possible wave of evictions. Sheriff Garry McFadden told WFAE his office is required by law to execute lockouts within five days of a court order.

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams of Charlotte sent a letter to the sheriff and Mecklenburg County court officials last week asking them to do everything they can to effectively extend the moratorium.

Adams urged them to follow the lead of Durham County, where Chief District Court Judge Patricia Evans extended a local ban on evictions through August for tenants who have applied for rental assistance.

McFadden, however, said the issue is out of his hands.

"I have found no local authority in any North Carolina General Statue or any case law which authorizes a sheriff to not follow statute," McFadden said in a statement.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden
Logan Cyrus
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden

The CDC's eviction moratorium has only prevented landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent. Many tenants have still been evicted in North Carolina and other states for other reasons, such as lease violations.

Some renters may also have been evicted for nonpayment if they failed to file the proper paperwork to protect themselves.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office says so far it has served 1,390 evictions in 2021, compared with 2,979 evictions in all of 2020 and 6,789 evictions in all of 2019.

Local groups helping people with rent assistance in the Charlotte area say they've been overwhelmed with applications.

According toAdams' office, Crisis Assistance Ministries has helped roughly 17,000 families with rent and utility assistance since the beginning of the pandemic. RAMP CLT has helped over 5,600 households with rent payments but has almost three times as many applications.

In anticipation of the moratorium's end, RAMP CLT has said it will prioritize any tenant with an eviction filing at 80% of the area median income to try to help them avoid becoming homeless.

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Nick de la Canal is an on air host and reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal