CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte foster mom facing eviction has some much-needed reassurance tonight. The apartment complex where she lives is not going to evict her, as originally planned, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I don’t know what to do right now,” Debra Archer said Friday afternoon. “It’s hard right now, because of the situation. No one deserves to be kicked out in this current situation.”
Living with a disability, a string of bad luck and now a pandemic, the foster mother of two said she could not afford her rent of almost $1,300 this month. An eviction notice appeared at her door over the weekend, Archer said.
“I’m paycheck to paycheck,” she said.
Working from home, she remained confident she could make her rent payment in the coming weeks but needed more time.
“I’m trying,” she said.
Following our questions, her apartment complex pledged to be more flexible.
“While we did file prior to all this – we are not planning on doing anything for the foreseeable future,” the company that manages the apartment complex wrote in an email Monday. “The tentative court date is not until 4/29 so plenty of time to get March taken care of and canceled. And we can work through partial payments for now.”
In this time of uncertainty, Archer is far from the only person afraid of losing her home.
North Carolina courts postponed new evictions for a month last week and Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden suspended pending evictions.
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office reports 109 pending court-ordered evictions just from Friday through Monday. While those are on hold for now, the future is unclear.
“This is just a pause. This is not going to fix the issue,” housing justice organizer Jessica Moreno said. “Come April 17, we’re going to get flooded if things don’t change.”
Without government intervention, Moreno is confident the number of people facing eviction will climb much higher.
“What I think is going to happen is landlords are going to continue to scare their tenants into thinking that they have no rights,” she said.
More than 120 North Carolina organizations are demanding the governor act. NC United for Survival and Beyond wants a moratorium on evictions through the end of 2020.
There is also a petition pushing for guaranteed housing.
The Greater Charlotte Apartment Association is hoping the federal government and lenders will step up to protect both landlords and tenants.
“While our members are committed to ensuring the safety and financial viability of their residents during these challenging times, we're working with the National Apartment Association (NAA) and National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) to communicate to Congress the needs of multifamily owners who may not see rent payments for March, April and even May or June…” Executive Director Kim Graham said. “…We're hopeful that as the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced (Monday) that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer multifamily property owners mortgage forbearance with the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of coronavirus; that other lenders will follow suit so the apartment industry isn't shuttered by a drastic revenue loss.”
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