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CDC COVID-19 eviction moratorium

The Center for Disease Control issued a temporary order to halt evictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in September. Gov. Roy Cooper adopted the CDC order with Executive Order 171. Both those orders are currently set to expire on Dec. 31.

The CDC’s order halts evictions if the tenant provides a signed declaration to their landlord and falls under the following criteria:

1) Has used best efforts to obtain governmental assistance.

2) Earns less than $99,000 a year if single, $198,000 if married.

3) Is unable to pay the rent due to loss of income, layoff, or medical bills.

4) Is making best efforts to pay as much rent as possible.

5) Eviction would likely render the tenant homeless.

A copy of the declaration can be found here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/declaration-form.pdf

The CDC’s order does not include foreclosures on home mortgages. It does not apply to evictions for criminal behavior, threatening the health or safety of others, damage to property, violating building code or health ordinances, or violating lease provisions unrelated to payment of rent.

The eviction process involves litigation between a landlord and tenant. Forsyth County Government does not control the state judicial system or the laws governing evictions. It does not have the ability to halt evictions.

Once the court orders an eviction, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has the legal duty to carry out the eviction. The Sheriff does not have the authority to overrule the court’s decision, or to pick and choose which orders to enforce.

Any tenant who feels a court’s decision is unfair should file an appeal. Help is available with eviction mediation related to the CDC’s Order through Human Relations Eviction Diversion Mediation (EDM), which can be reached at 336-727-8000.

EDM was created at the request of Forsyth County Chief District Court Judge Lisa Menefee to divert evictions based on nonpayment of rent due to the pandemic.  It is a partnership between the Legal Aid-Winston-Salem Office, Wake Forest School of Law, and The City of Winston-Salem City Attorney’s Office and Human Relations Department.  https://www.cityofws.org/2739/Eviction-Diversion-Mediation-EDM

Emergency financial assistance is also available from local non-profits:

 Salvation Army Emergency Financial Assistance Office

https://www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/winston-salem/programs/social-services/

Crisis Control Ministries

https://www.crisiscontrol.org/what-we-do/services/financial-assistance.html

Forsyth Department of Social Services also facilitates numerous types of assistance including Subsidized Child Care Assistance, Medicaid, WIC, Work First Family Assistance, Crisis Intervention and Emergency Assistance. https://www.co.forsyth.nc.us/DSS/