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NC tenants can call this number for legal help with evictions and housing issues

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WFAE

There’s a new hotline to help residents in North Carolina facing evictions or other housing issues. Legal Aid of North Carolina is running the helpline to provide legal assistance for free.

Legal Aid says an overwhelming number of calls to the general helpline during the pandemic created the need for a line dedicated to housing issues. At one point during the pandemic, the general line was getting up to 2,500 calls a day and 70% of them were about housing, said Scheree Gilchrist, an attorney with Legal Aid who runs the helpline. In some of those calls, she said, they heard stories of mass evictions.

“The reality is that smaller landlords were impacted just as greatly as tenants were with the pandemic, and they have not been receiving rents," Gilchrist said. “So they’ve been incentivized to sell to investors, and once an investor comes in what we see are these mass evictions.”

The helpline is not just for tenants facing evictions. Legal Aid says tenants can also call about problems with repairs, housing vouchers, public housing, mobile homes and rental assistance programs.

“Our new housing helpline allows tenants to bypass the general queue, avoid long hold times and quickly reach our housing specialists,” Gilchrist said in a statement.

Legal Aid has also received funding to boost its ability to help tenants applying for rent assistance through the North Carolina Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions Program. And it will receive referrals directly from the program to educate tenants and landlords about how the program works and negotiate with landlords who do not want to take HOPE funding.

The dedicated housing helpline is open to residents in every county, and it’s taking calls toll-free from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Legal Aid Housing Helpline: 1-877-201-6426

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