Greensboro landlords, renters concerned about lasting impact of federal eviction moratoriums

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — For Catrice Otengo, the CDC’s eviction moratorium was too little, too late.

She was evicted from her Greensboro apartment in July, short $200 of her monthly rent. Otengo explained that she underwent surgery, then was furloughed from her job shortly after.

Otengo was living in a hotel when she heard about the federal moratorium on evictions earlier this month.

“I could not believe it, I could not believe it, because to me, the CDC already knew how the pandemic was affecting people,” she said Wednesday.

She wants to start over in Durham after securing a new job, but says finding a rental hasn’t been easy.

“It shouldn’t be that way, I shouldn’t have to struggle to find a place when I’ve never had an eviction in my life,” Otengo said.

“Landlords are not trying to force people out, we typically work with them the best we can, but when you have a moratorium that puts people three-plus months behind in rent, that gets people in an area they can’t recover from,” said Steve Tyree, who serves as vice president of the Greensboro Landlord Association.

Tyree says some owners are reporting losses upwards of $10,000.

Researchers with the Aspen Institute estimate 345,000 to 542,000 households in our state are at risk of eviction. Tyree worries about the backlog of potential cases with moratoriums in effect.

Otengo told FOX8 she has her sights set on home ownership

“Durham has a rent to own program, I’ll probably try to get into that. So I own my home and nobody can ever put me out of anything ever again,” she said.

The CDC’s moratorium remains in effect until the end of the year.

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