The North Carolina General Assembly remains out of session this week. They are currently scheduled to return to Raleigh on September 2nd unless Governor Roy Cooper calls them back in for a Special Session. Right now, there is little expectation of that occurring.
Legislators expect their time in session on Sept. 2nd to be very short – lasting only a couple of days or so. With the short timeframe, right now is the time to continue to push legislators to enact emergency housing and utility assistance to alleviate the housing and financial instability facing thousands of North Carolinians. According to data provided by the NC Administrative Office of the Courts, on July 31st there were over 8,000 eviction cases pending across the state. That number is likely to climb with the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium and expanded Unemployment Insurance benefits.
Data shows that low-income people are more likely to be experiencing job or wage losses due to the pandemic and that black and brown people are experiencing these impacts at higher rates than white households. North Carolina is experiencing record unemployment rates, well-documented delays in getting payments to individuals, and now expanded benefits have expired. The payment assistance that HB 1200 would provide is one step towards balancing the scales of systemic housing inequity by lessening the harm of housing instability during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coalition and other housing stakeholders are continuing the push for HB 1200’s passage or inclusion in any COVID-19 response packages enacted by the General Assembly.
See below for some ways that you can take action.
- Senate Republicans need to hear from constituents about the need for emergency housing assistance and how it impacts housing providers and their ability to meet their financial obligations.
- Housing developers, owners, managers, investors, and financiers should especially contact state Senators. The need for housing market stability is a particular concern that must be conveyed to Senators.