January 29, 2021
Dear AANC Board and AE’s,
Please see this week's updates below.
Following last week’s extension of the CDC moratorium, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 191 which extends Executive Order 171; blocking residential evictions for nonpayment and requiring housing providers to provide the CDC Declaration prior to filing eviction proceedings. Like the CDC, extension this moratorium will expire March 31st. The Administrative Office of the Courts has replaced the CARES ACT Affidavit with form 208. Housing providers should be sure to utilize this form when engaging in eviction proceedings moving forward. As we continue to see moratorium extensions at both the state and federal level, rental assistance is the associations highest priority.
Last week we discussed the anticipated changes coming to the NC HOPE Program- North Carolinas rental assistance program. The HOPE Program enacted new rent assistance policies that will “allow the automation of rent awards”. According to program reps approximately 12,400 new rent awards for $57.5 million were generated as a result of the new policies, which were developed with the dual goals of speeding up rent assistance and attracting greater landlord participation. Some of the major policy changes are:
Employing a formula-based approach for rent awards by:
Using the county median rent for a two-bedroom rental unit as calculated by HUD (50th Percentile Rent Estimate), rounded up to the next $10 for the amount of allowable monthly rent amount,
Multiplied by a number that includes payments for November and December 2020 and January 2021, and the number of months since April 1, 2020 that were late when the renter applied, not exceeding 6 months.
If there is an overpayment of monthly rent due to this formula, excess amounts must first cover the arrears accrued since April 1, 2020 that are owed to the landlord.
If the amount of the payment results in additional funds remaining after arrears are covered, the landlord must credit the remaining amount of funds to future rent.
If there is past due rent still owed after HOPE funds have been applied, those amounts remain outstanding for the landlord and tenant to work out payment arrangements between them.
The landlord must not evict during the time rent assistance is provided, plus 60 days from signature of the LTA, as well as any credited time that exceeds the 60-day period.
While some of these changes are a result of AANC’s efforts advocating for less stringent landlord participation requirements, there where unintended changes that we are currently working to address. Yesterday AANC met with Reps. from the program to highlight changes inconsistent with the programs intent. One of the major concerns being the eviction prevention language not being limited to nonpayment of rent. Our concerns were well received. We will look to the coming week to see if these changes will be made. We are also working with NC HOPE to provide an FAQ document to address commonly asked questions. We will keep members up to date on all changes and relevant information, as it becomes available.
AANC’s Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce is working to pull resources together to increase awareness and identify best practices regarding diversity and inclusion initiatives. If your organization currently operates in this space and can provide resources or operational insight to AANC, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
AANC Government Affairs Director