DURHAM RESIDENTS DEMAND DURHAM HOUSING AUTHORITY ENACT MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS
DURHAM, NC — Voters in Durham recently passed a monumental $95 million affordable housing bond to tackle the issues of rising housing costs. Most of this bond is designated to go to the Durham Housing Authority. In light of this, concerned Durham residents and organizations are urgently seeking to bring attention to the egregious rate at which DHA residents face eviction filings.
DHA has attempted to evict 40% of its households so far in 2019. Many of the 40% of DHA households have faced multiple evictions filings this year. Even if filings do not result in ejections, a filing – even one that does not result in judgment – is what shows up on one’s credit report.
DHA has filed 7 times more summary ejectment cases than Greensboro’s Housing Authority; 20 times more than Charlotte’s Housing Authority in 2019; and 35 times more than Raleigh’s Housing Authority in 2019. These numbers represent real people, real households and families who are already economically vulnerable.
The Emergency Committee to End the Durham Eviction Crisis is holding a press conference on December, 20, 2019 to urge the Durham Housing Authority immediately enact a moratorium on evictions of their affordable housing residents during the holidays and winter months. Further, we demand that not a dime of the housing bond be released to DHA until it stops its out of control eviction filings.
Friday, December 20, 2019 at 10 a.m.
Durham Housing Authority
330 E. Main St.
Durham, NC 27701
In a letter to DHA, the Durham Human Relations Commission writes:
While the numbers alone don’t tell the full story, it is clear that there is an eviction crisis in Durham. This crisis is disproportionately impacting Durham’s Black working class communities, which have been experiencing unrelenting displacement from gentrification and development, as well as unemployment, underemployment, and poverty. Eviction filings can exacerbate these issues, ruin the credit of vulnerable community members, create permanent scars on their records, and may cause unnecessary harm to human relations in Durham.
We would not be the first city to propose a moratorium on evictions — Oakland, CA and Richmond, VA have implemented similar measures. We believe there are better alternatives to allowing the flood of eviction filings to continue unchecked. Halting evictions now could allow time for those alternatives to be explored, by the Human Relations Commission and others.
The Emergency Committee to End the Durham Eviction Crisis urges DHA, Durham City Council, Durham Board of County Commissioners, Durham Clerk of Court Archie Smith, Durham Mayor Steve Schewel, and the Durham County Sheriff:
- To enforce an immediate moratorium on evictions of affordable housing tenants over the holidays and winter months, to begin December 16, 2019 and extend at least through March 31, 2020. This includes directing the Clerk of Court not to accept eviction petitions from DHA and directing the Sheriff’s department not to serve eviction notices to affordable housing residents.
- To convene a series of community forums where tenants vulnerable to evictions and those currently in eviction hearings are able to express their grievances and receive answers for their questions directed at the city.
- To ensure right to counsel for all affordable housing tenants, which could include increased financial support for the Durham eviction diversion program, housed at Legal Aid.
- Reroute the thousands of dollars in legal costs and filing fees that DHA would have spent during the holiday season to file evictions. Allocate these funds to implement the demands of the Communit-Led Safety and Wellness Taskforce.
* for identification purposes only
BYP 100 – Durham
CAPE (Community Alliance for Public Education)
Carolina Jews for Justice
Democratic Socialists of America – Durham
Durham Association of Educators
Durham City Workers Union, UE Local 150
Durham For All
Durham Human Relations Commission
Durham People’s Alliance
Durham Solidarity Center
Durham Workers Assembly
National Domestic Workers Alliance – We Dream in Black
N.C. Raise Up/Fight for $15
Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle
Southern Fried Queer Pride
Southern Vision Alliance (SVA)
Pierce Freelon, candidate for NC State Senate, District 20
John Rooks, Chair of Durham Human Relations Commission*
Raymond Eurquhart, Durham Housing Authority Commissioner*
Brenda Howerton, Durham County Commissioner*
AJ Williams, co-chair, Durham Chapter of BYP100*
Joe Lewis, Hayti resident
Elena Everett, West End resident
Loan Tran, Old North Durham resident
Beau Cromartie, Guess Rd. Resident, Youth Organizing Institute*
Nadeen Bir, Club Blvd resident
Emerson Goldstein, Durham resident
Alexis Clark, Durham resident
Nicholas Graber-Grace, Durham resident, teacher Hillside High School*
Elizabeth Simpson, Durham resident, Carolina Justice Policy Center*
Bennett Carpenter, Durham resident, Durham for All
Dante Strobino, University Estates resident, Durham Workers Assembly
Sherrill Hudson, Durham resident
Additional information and signers can be viewed online at: www.stopevictions.network
The Emergency Committee to End the Durham Eviction Crisis is a broad, coalitional effort of concerned individuals and organizations fighting to end evictions and for affordable housing in Durham.
Learn more at: www.stopevictions.network