Realtor group asks Gov. Cooper to end eviction moratorium

Published 9:30 pm Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The statewide residential eviction moratorium is set to expire June 30. The NC Association of Realtors is asking Gov. Roy Cooper to end it sooner.

The moratorium began in September 2020. It prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who can’t pay rent because of the pandemic.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Association of Realtors said it is “time to adapt the ongoing moratorium on evictions and refocus efforts on distributing the hundreds of millions of federal dollars that have been designated to states for rental assistance.”

“The governor continues to adapt numerous pandemic related emergency actions to reflect the current progress of North Carolina’s diminishing pandemic emergency, including lessening mask mandates as well as business, event and school reopenings,” the statement reads.

Near the end of March, Cooper signed an executive order extending the state’s moratorium through June 30. The text of that executive order referenced results from a United States Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey that featured data collected Feb. 17, 2021, through March 1. An estimated 167,751 adults in rental housing in North Carolina reported that they were not caught up on rent at that time, and 2.8 million reported that their household found it somewhat difficult or very difficult to cover household expenses.

The most recent Household Pulse Survey includes data gathered May 26 through June 7. In that survey, an estimated 250,949 adults in North Carolina reported that they were not caught up on rent, and an estimated 2.1 million reported that their household found it somewhat difficult or very difficult to cover household expenses.

“North Carolina has seen an improving economy, with thousands of job openings and vaccines broadly available statewide. Businesses by and large are operating normally again, contributing to their and the state’s recovery. The same cannot be said for small business housing providers, who continue to operate under severe restrictions,” the statement reads. “But the improvements in conditions that have allowed the rest of the economy to open up should allow housing to do the same.  Asking small business housing providers to indefinitely suspend their ability to collect rent puts a disproportionate burden on their ability to participate in the economic recovery and has created a severe financial burden which threatens their businesses and livelihoods.  The governor has recently touted the revamped NC HOPE 2.0 rental relief fund to assist those with true continuing COVID-related rental needs. With this safety net in place, it is unfair to extend this economic burden on small business property owners. Failing to transition to economic recovery will not only burden these individual businesses, but also could have the unintended outcome of preventing full recovery in the housing sector, a key North Carolina industry. Now, more than ever, we need financially healthy housing providers to serve North Carolina’s growing housing needs.”