Words Aren’t Enough for Those Facing Eviction and Late Penalties

BISMARCK, ND — The governor addressed evictions today, a concern for many North Dakotans. He has said evictions is the number one issue he’s heard about from constituents regarding COVID-19. He again chose not to issue a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and rental fees, despite calls from distressed renters, grassroots organizers, nonprofit advocates, and the Dem-NPL. 

Without a moratorium on evictions, rental fees, and foreclosures, landlords can issue three-day notices that convince some tenants to leave their homes without anywhere to go when we’re all being encouraged to stay inside. Rental fees and penalties will begin to accrue for people who have no options, putting them at risk of debt, through not fault of their own, long after the disaster is over. Policy considerations should also include rent assistance for tenants who are suddenly unemployed and bridge loans or grants for landlords who offer flexibility to struggling tenants.

The Democratic-NPL Party Chairwoman Kylie Oversen said:

“After weeks of calls by distressed renters making eviction the number one issue he’s heard about, it’s great to hear the governor finally addressing them directly and encouraging landlords to give flexibility. While he says the economic programs are soon to come, people are already facing potential eviction, and rental fees can still pile up. The analysis we heard today, though, shows a lack of understanding of what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck, and we encourage the governor to take concrete action. Words aren’t enough.”