In recent weeks, researchers across the country have released report after report sounding the alarm on the potential for millions of people across the country (hundred of thousands here in North Carolina) to lose their homes at the onset of the new year. Researchers report statistics that indicate how deeply people are being harmed by the economic fallout resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are some of the staggering statistics depicting widespread financial hardship:
- 70% increase in the use of credit cards to make monthly rent payments (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)
- 1 in 6 adults with children report having insufficient food for household in last 7 days (Center on Budget & Policy Priorities)
- 1 in 3 adults have struggled with paying usual expenses in last 7 days (Center on Budget & Policy Priorities)
- 18.5% of Duke Energy customers were past due on September 30th (Duke Energy COVID-19 report to NC Utilities Commission, 12/2/2020)
With so many households having difficulty with basic living expenses such as housing and food, it is increasingly likely that large swaths of the population will be at-risk for losing their homes, whether they are renters or homeowners.
Here are some of the projections of how many people may lose their homes:
- In North Carolina, there are 316,000 people behind on rent (between October 14 to November 11)1
- More than 30% of North Carolinians are at-risk for eviction (U.S. Census Bureau, Household Pulse Survey)
- 17.8 million people across the US behind on housing expenses (rent or mortgage)
- 1 in 6 renters are behind on rent (Center on Budget & Policy Priorities)
While projections vary in methodology and the resulting figures, all are in agreement that masses of people are falling deeper into perilous situations that are likely to result in mass evictions and increased homelessness without emergency action from the government.
Our social safety net was weak going into the pandemic. The CARES Act provided some measure of lifeline. The CDC order halting evictions and Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Orders have attempted to provide some protection. We know those efforts fell short and now they will soon come to an end for all.
This table outlines some of the resources/protections that are coming to an end or have already expired:
|CDC Order||Prevent eviction of resident for nonpayment of rent||12/31/20||Some will face immediate housing loss on January 1st as writs of possession are able to be carried out; For others the eviction process will start/re-start|
|EO #171||Affirms that the CDC order is applicable in NC; Requires landlords to inform tenants of potential protection under CDC order||12/31/20||Some will face immediate housing loss on January 1st as writs of possession are able to be carried out; For others the eviction process will start/re-start|
|CARES Act Foreclosure Moratorium||Allows homeowners with federally backed mortgages to pause payments for up to 1 year||March 2021||Foreclosure proceedings may begin;|
With protections ending and resources exhausted, hundreds of thousands of people in NC, and millions across the country, will potentially lose their housing in the middle of winter, while a public health crisis continues. Congress must act immediately to provide the resources to ensure the health and basic survival of people across the country.
Contact your members of Congress THIS WEEK to demand that Congress enact an end-of-year relief package that includes essential resources and protections to address the urgent health and housing needs of people experiencing homelessness and America’s lowest-income renters
Sign onto a national letter urging the CDC to extend, strengthen, and enforce its eviction moratorium to keep renters in their homes during the pandemic. Share the letter widely with other local, state, or national organizations or elected officials. The due date for signatures is December 15.
1 Calculated by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities from Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey published table “housing1b” for survey weeks 17 and 18, https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/household-pulse-survey/data.html; and 2018 American Community Survey public use file.