The Covid-19 safety nets are gone. Now a flood of evictions is here

After months of reprieve, local, statewide, and federal protections that would stop evictions from proceeding are nearly completely gone as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The economic support networks put in place by state and federal governments all seem to be disappearing at once: the statewide utility disconnection moratorium expired Wednesday at midnight; the statewide eviction moratorium expired June 20; the federal eviction moratorium expired last Friday; federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) ended Saturday.

The economy is rebounding but still bruised. Back down from the all-time high 14.7% unemployment rate in April, unemployment is steadying, at 7.6% in North Carolina in June. That’s still higher than the pre-Covid-19 unemployment average, between 3.5 and 4.4%.

That rate could still climb again, as businesses, in particular, continue to struggle with making ends meet. Add to that fears of a second wave of Covid-19 — or the continuation of the current wave — and uncertainty over whether a second round of federal Paycheck Protection Program loans, which have helped to keep many employees on the payroll, will be included in upcoming federal relief packages.

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