News

Coping With COVID-19 In WNC: Paying The Bills

By HELEN CHICKERING

April 1 brings another COVID-19 concern – rent is due.  With restrictions shuttering businesses and putting thousands out of work across Western North Carolina, non-profit organizations that provide housing and other support services are seeing an increase in calls from residents concerned about rent and mortgage payments.

“Our advice is to prioritize rent as best you can, to seek out emergency assistance,” said Jackie Kiger with  Pisgah Legal Services who added that effective March 16,  North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley issued an order halting eviction and foreclosure court hearings for 30 days.   “Right now we’d advise people to apply for financial assistance, they can also call us and we might be able to help, perhaps negotiating with the landlord.”     Kiger says Pisgah Legal Services is continuing to serve clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, March 31, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive to prohibit utility companies from shutting off services to people who are unable to pay.  Executive order 124  states that electric, gas, water and wastewater services cannot be shut off for the next 60 days. It also encourages banks not to charge customers overdraft fees, late fees and other penalties.

Continue Reading Here