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.
We formed at the end of 2019 to demand a moratorium on evictions in Durham, NC during the holiday season. The holidays and winter months are the time of year with the highest rates of evictions filings for low-income and affordable housing residents. Why Durham? The Durham Housing Authority filed seven times more eviction cases than Greensboro; 20 times more than Charlotte; and 35 times more than Raleigh in 2019.
We canvassed, gave out yard signs, held press conferences, phone banked, hand delivered letters, and attended City Council meetings. In December, we won the eviction mortarium!
Despite this win, evictions rose as soon as the mortarium ended. Durham Housing Authority filed 84 new evictions cases in February 2020. This is more than twice as many summary ejectment cases filed in Raleigh or Greensboro in the same month.
In March 2020, we demanded that Chief Justice Cheri Beasley place a continuance (postponement) on all evictions for at least the next 30 days to protect Durham residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eventually, Gov. Roy Cooper issued a statewide moratorium on eviction hearings. However, this still required renters to pay back all lapsed rent payments within 6 months. The moratorium expired in June and residents had to keep fighting to stay housed.
Now in September, the CDC issued a nationwide ban on evictions until December 31, 2020. Millions of renters qualify for this program but we need your help in getting the word out.
The CDC moratorium is just a start – we want to ban evictions for the rest of the pandemic and we want to start with local resolutions in NC cities.