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Thousands Of NC, SC Renters Could Be Evicted If Moratorium Expires This Week

Mary Newsom

Tens of thousands of renters in the Carolinas could be at risk of eviction if the federal eviction moratorium is allowed to expire as scheduled on Wednesday.

The moratorium imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shielded renters who haven't been able to pay rent from eviction, keeping them in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Housing advocates are hoping the moratorium gets extended — something the Biden administration is reportedly considering. The CDC also has recently taken steps in that direction.

Advocates point to more than $50 billion that Congress has approved for rental assistance in the last two COVID-19 relief bills. Many states have received the money but are just now starting to take applications.

"The problem is you have the potential of seeing tens if not hundreds of thousands of families evicted when help is on the way, and that's an avoidable tragedy," said housing attorney Adam Protheroe with South Carolina's Appleseed Legal Justice Center.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 149,551 North Carolina renters said this month they were behind on rent. In South Carolina, 97,265 renters say they're also behind. The Census Bureau says that's likely an undercount.

Renters who need assistance can call the United Way hotline by dialing 211. Some organizations also offered legal help to tenants who received an eviction notice from their landlord or a court, including SC Legal Services and Legal Aid of North Carolina.

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