North Dakota Nonprofits Call on Gov. Burgum to Prohibit Late Fees for Renters During COVID-19 Crisis

May 12, 2020 3:00 pm

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Good health starts with stable housing.

But for North Dakotans whose income has been impacted because of involuntary unemployment, extended sickness or required quarantine during the COVID-19 crisis, stable housing is a major concern – in fact, nearly 1/3 of respondents to the North Dakota Department of Commerce COVID-19 Community Impact Survey that was released last week said they have concerns about housing evictions.

Gov. Doug Burgum won’t issue a temporary moratorium on eviction actions in the state. North Dakotans who are involuntarily out of work will be seeing government money in the form of stimulus checks and an increase in unemployment benefits, he said. For many North Dakotans, however, the checks aren’t coming fast enough – and for some, they’re not coming at all.

If Gov. Burgum’s not going to issue a temporary eviction moratorium, he needs to do something to protect North Dakota renters who are involuntarily out of work.

That’s why several area nonprofit organizations are asking the state to do more to protect the health and safety of all North Dakotans and are now calling on Gov. Burgum to issue an executive order prohibiting late fees and dings to credit ratings for renters during the COVID-19 crisis. Doing so would make it a lot easier for North Dakota renters to get back on their feet when the economy rebounds.

Cody Schuler with the Fargo-Moorhead Coalition to End Homelessness, Michelle Rydz from High Plains Fair Housing and Dane DeKrey with the ACLU of North Dakota spoke a press conference earlier today about the need for Gov. Burgum to take action and the importance of renters knowing their rights when it comes to the eviction process. Watch a replay of the press conference here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq4QrwkgC3Y.

The one-pager on tenant rights in regards to the eviction process in North Dakota is here: https://www.aclund.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/residential_r…

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