Eviction & Rental Assistance in the time of COVID19

Posted on July 02, 2020

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A White Paper by Bruce Rich, Center for Housing & Community Studies

Before the pandemic, Greensboro’s renters were being evicted at an alarming rate, and this was in an economic environment marked by years of expansion and low unemployment. Sustained strong economic activity, though great for some, drove rents up in Greensboro and vacancy rates down. Renters increasingly were forced to pay an unreasonable percentage of their income on housing expense, and forced to settle for substandard conditions or to cut food or medicine. As a result, Greensboro in recent years was deep into an eviction crisis, with well above four evictions per hundred rental homes, the worst rate in North Carolina and seventh worst in the country.That was then. But in 2020 the COVID-19 crisis struck, shattering that strong economy. The abrupt imposition of stay-at-home orders throughout the country shut down businesses and led to sudden, catastrophic job losses. North Carolina was hard hit. Over a million new unemployment claims were filed since March 14, representing 21.2% of the workforce. Women, Latinx people, immigrants, young workers and those with less education were most vulnerable to layoffs, and those groups are among the most precariously housed already. This has the potential to turn an eviction crisis into an “avalanche of evictions.”

READ THE CHCS WHITEPAPER HERE: Eviction and Rental Assistance White Paper


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