Coalition Calls for Eviction Moratorium in North Dakota

A coalition of labor unions and homelessness activists are now fighting a new threat of the Coronavirus, a homelessness and housing crisis.

FARGO, N.D. – With more then 3% of the states workforce out of a job, a coalition of labor unions and homelessness activists are calling on Governor Doug Burgum to step in and temporarily suspend evictions, rental late fees, and foreclosures during the pandemic, and for 90 days after the emergency is over.

“It’s like a domino effect, if we don’t nip all of these things in the bud, each of them are going to cause pain for people who, through no fault of there own, are out of work and facing this.” said Dane DeKrey, the Advocacy Director for the ACLU of North Dakota.

Nearly 14,000 people filed claims for unemployment in North Dakota over a nine day period, and that number is expected to rise.

The North Dakota Supreme Court recently suspended all housing evictions, but the ACLU of North Dakota is worried that a “Good Cause” clause in the wording may still put renters at risk for eviction if landlords can provide reasoning for removing them from the property.

“We are not talking about people who are habitual rent offenders,” said DeKrey, “They pay their rent every month just like everybody else does.”

The Coalition to End Homelessness says that enacting the moratorium now will prevent a surge in cases of homelessness after the pandemic is over.

“Our shelters are full and have a waiting list every day of the year. Part of the reason this executive order is so important is because it will drastically reduce the amount of new cases of homelessness.” said Cody Schuler, the Executive Director of the Fargo-Moorhead Coalition to End Homelessness.

According to studies, 60% of Americans aren’t financially able to cover an unexpected $400 emergency expense.

With an emergency like the Coronavirus crisis leaving people out of work, those unexpected expenses are now their rent checks or mortgage payments.

“It’s a significant number of people that are facing this problem,” said DeKrey.

We’ve reached out to the Governor’s office for a comment and are still awaiting a response.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, Local News, North Dakota News