Despite federal moratorium, dozens in the Triad face eviction from their homes

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A CDC moratorium offering protections from eviction nationwide hasn’t stopped deputies from serving dozens of notices across the Triad.

Isaac Sturgill, with Legal Aid of North Carolina, explained Tuesday that the order only serves people who know about it and sign a declaration before their landlord begins proceedings.

The order does not stop landlords from being able to begin the process, because it didn’t shut down courts.

“A lot of times we end up just reporting people’s fundraisers because that’s the only recourse,” said Celeste Holcomb, with Housing Justice Now, a housing rights group based in Winston-Salem.

The CDC order, which went into effect in September, was meant to halt evictions for nonpayment of rent from Sept. 4, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020.

So far in December the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office has served eight writs of possession, Forsyth County deputies served 15, and have 29 more outstanding.

Since September, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has received 256 Writs of Possession and served 209.

Other departments have not yet provided the number of writs served.

Holcomb said those facing eviction have few options during the pandemic.

“Every single shelter, every single rental assistance program, there’s nothing, the shelters are full, they’re busy, we interact with a lot of people just trying to survive,” she said.

Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough said he would like to stop evictions, but the only person who can is Chief Justice Cheri Beasely.

He shared on Facebook that he has compassion and sympathy for those facing hardship. Holcomb says that won’t help those already facing eviction.

“They might be elderly, disabled, their house is full of sewage, they might qualify for the CDC moratorium but they still get kicked out of their house,” she said.

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