PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily News - September 22, 2020 


The Supreme Court vacancy raises stakes for a reproductive-rights campaign; voter-registration deadlines are just around the corner; and the pandemic compounds child-care woes.


2020Talks - September 22, 2020 


It's National Voter Registration Day. Plus, the Supreme Court and abortion are back, center stage, in the election spotlight.

ND Renters Facing Eviction During Crisis Advised to Take Immediate Action

As opposed to a temporary eviction ban, Gov. Doug Burgum has said more targeted actions, such as emergency relief program, are better ways to help people struggling with their rent during the crisis. (Adobe Stock)
As opposed to a temporary eviction ban, Gov. Doug Burgum has said more targeted actions, such as emergency relief program, are better ways to help people struggling with their rent during the crisis. (Adobe Stock)
May 28, 2020

MINOT, N.D. -- North Dakota's refusal to issue a moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic has angered several groups.

But one organization says the state needs more long-term solutions to protect renters, while urging people to take swift action if they can't pay housing costs.

Housing experts say temporary restrictions on evictions soon will be lifted in many states, exacerbating the economic crisis. North Dakota never issued such an order.

Richard LeMay, executive director of Legal Services of North Dakota, says it shows that people facing evictions shouldn't waste time figuring out what to do, especially since, in his view, state laws are more favorable toward landlords.

"In North Dakota, there's just no defense to nonpayment rent," he points out. "And it's an argument that I don't think we can win, given the current law."

LeMay says those facing a hardship can seek state aid through the Emergency Rent Bridge program, but he says that money only will last for so long with more people losing their jobs.

There's also a moratorium on evictions for federally subsidized housing, but that expires in July.

LeMay says the situation should signal to state leaders that comprehensive reform is needed.

For example, LeMay says the state should do away with actions that can catch many tenants off guard when their rent is late.

"Taping notices to the door regarding eviction?" he states. "That probably wouldn't fly in most other states. But here you can tape it on the door as long as the person serving the notice signs an affidavit saying they did it. The notice can blow away or somebody can take it off."

In addition to eviction concerns, advocates worry about landlords continuing to add late fees and issuing reports to credit agencies during the crisis. LeMay suggests that landlords can help themselves by trying to keep tenants in their buildings as much as possible so they're in a better position with income as businesses slowly reopen and more people go back to work.

Disclosure: Legal Services of North Dakota contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Native American Issues, Poverty Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Mike Moen, Public News Service - ND