When will the moratorium on eviction cases end?
On May 30th, the Governor of North Carolina issued an executive order, effectively immediately, for a moratorium on evictions for three weeks. Landlords are prevented from assessing late fees. The order also requires tenants be given a minimum of six months to pay outstanding rent. Click here for an FAQ of the executive order.
Bruce Rich from UNCG’s Center for Housing and Community Studies recently issued a white paper on evictions and rental assistance during COVID-19. The report can be read here.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has extended its foreclosure and extension moratorium through August 31, 2020, for homeowners with FHA-insured single-family mortgages and tenants in buildings with federally backed mortgages (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). Click here for more details.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) have created online multifamily property lookup tools to allow renters to find out if the multifamily property where they reside has an Enterprise-backed mortgage. Under the CARES Act, renters living in a property with an Enterprise-backed mortgage are covered by a temporary eviction moratorium.
Renters can also call the Fannie Mae Helpline at 877-542-9723, if Fannie Mae backs their building’s mortgage, or the Freddie Mac Helpline at 800-404-3097, if Freddie Mac backs their building’s mortgage.
What is the eviction process?
Click here for a summary of the process.
What organizations are available to support those facing eviction?
Legal Aid offers services for those facing eviction. The office serving Guilford County is located in Greensboro. Their phone number is 336-272-0148.
What local organizations provide rent/mortgage assistance?
Welfare Reform Liaison Project has an emergency assistance available. They can be reached at 336-691-5780.
Open Door Ministries provides rent and utilities assistance. Interviews by phone only. For more information, call 336-885-0191.
West End Ministries provides rent/mortgage and utilities assistance. By appointment only. Call 336-884-1105.
Salvation Army of High Point provides rent/mortgage and utilities assistance. For more details, call 336-881-5400.
What is the foreclosure process?
Click here for a flowchart of the process.
What organizations are available to support those facing foreclosure?
Financial Pathways of the Piedmont offers foreclosure counseling. Their phone number is 336-896-1191.
The State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project (SHFPP) offers free help. Call the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project at 1-888-442-8188, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Has there been a moratorium on foreclosures?
On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development authorized the Federal Housing Administration to place an immediate moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for the next two months for single-family homeowners who are unable to pay their FHA-backed mortgages.
Homeowners with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will also be granted foreclosure relief. The Federal Housing Finance Agency also ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to establish a forbearance program allowing borrowers affected by the coronavirus to skip their mortgage payments for as long as a year.
According to the Urban Institute, the moratoria will cover about 65% of all outstanding mortgages.
How much does North Carolina pay in unemployment benefits?
North Carolina unemployment insurance provide an average weekly benefit of $265. The maximum is $350. This ranks near the bottom of the 50 states. The maximum eligibility term is 12 weeks, a nationwide low.
Did the North Carolina general assembly expand jobless benefits with the COVID-19 relief bill?
No. The North Carolina Senate wanted to increase the maximum amount of unemployment weekly benefits to $400 but it was not included the compromise bill. The North Carolina Chamber of Commerce opposed it. Ray Starling, the chamber’s general counsel, said the proposal was unclear as to whether the extra money would go to everyone receiving unemployment or only to those receiving the maximum amount. Starling said that many businesses were wary of potentially having to pay more into the unemployment system in the future.
How much does the CARES Act pay in unemployment benefits?
The new federal law creates three unemployment insurance programs paid for by the federal government. Employers unemployment insurance tax rates will not be impacted.
Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) provides workers $600 per week in additional to the amount of unemployment benefits from the State of North Carolina. Once a worker exhausts North Carolina’s eligibility term of 12 weeks, they move to Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides 13 weeks of benefits to workers ($600 per week) who have exhausted the benefits under Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) covers workers not eligible for unemployment benefits such as independent contractors and small business owners. The state has set up an alternative phone number, 866-847-7209, for these workers to call and apply for PUA. Click here for more details.
Workers who have exhausted all PUC and PEUC benefits may be eligible for PUA. Benefits will be available for up to 39 weeks, which includes PUC & PEUC.
How has the Division of Employment Security handled the influx of unemployment claims?
The Division of Employment Security has had difficulty adjusting to the demand. Additional staff has been hired and the hours have been extended to include weekends.
Will CDBG-Coronavirus funds be available to help with rent/mortgage assistance?
The City of High Point will distribute the additional CDBG-Coronavirus funds through a RFP process for initiatives addressing COVID-19 impacts. It is reasonable to assume that nonprofit organizations will be able to apply for funds to assist with rent and mortgage financial assistance.
What is public charge and how might that impact the use of CDBG-Coronavirus funds?
Effective October 2019, the Department of Homeland Security updated the “public charge” for those immigrants applying for admission to the United States or those already here and seeking a green card. While the rule has been in place since 1999, the revised rule added food stamps, Medicaid, and Section 8 housing to the list of public benefits that can lead to someone being deemed a public charge. The agency can deem someone a public charge if they use any of those benefits for 12 months out of a 36-month period. If someone uses two or more benefits in a single month, each benefit counts separately.
Receiving unemployment benefits is not considered to be receiving a “public benefit.” The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also does not consider testing, treatment, nor preventative related to COVID-19 to be part of a public charge.
At this time, it is unclear if CDBG-Coronavirus funds are subject to the public charge rule.
Are undocumented residents eligible to apply for public housing and Section 8 (both vouchers and housing)?
At least one person in the household must be eligible, based on his or her immigration status, to reside in the housing. The eligible person may be a minor child. Click here for acceptable forms of verification, according to HUD.
How much is the rent in the new affordable housing developments?
Rents are set below market rates. Rent ranges for several Wynnefield Properties are here.
How is Open Door Ministries coping with social distancing guidelines?
Open Door Ministries has opened a satellite location at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church to house 15 of their shelter residents in an effort to reduce the number of people in the shelter. There is a maximum of 26 shelter residents in their main dormitory, which they limit the use of the bunk beds to one person and alternating top and bottom bunks to give a 6′ distance between people. There is also a smaller dormitory available for 6 – 8 people who are elderly or have medical conditions. Meals are just served in the dining room to shelter residents, with a maximum of 16 at one time, and to-go boxes are given to those who are not living in the shelter. The shelter residents are sheltered in place to prevent contact with other people, and temperatures are taken daily. Volunteers are screened and a limited number can come on to campus. Washing of hands and using hand sanitizer is encouraged regularly, as well as social distancing. Face masks are utilized by staff and volunteers and are available for all shelter residents.
- PTAA COVID Renters Resources Guide
- Legal Aid Guide to Landlord-Tenant Law
- Federal Housing Finance Agency Overview of the Foreclosure Process
- Rental Housing Programs: Public housing, Section 8, rural housing, and low-income tax credit housing – Updated October 2018. Note that the public charge rule information in the PDF is no longer accurate.
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