Evictions remain stubbornly high in Buncombe County despite booming economy

"The whole point of this is to be here for the people who don’t know about Pisgah Legal Services, and they don’t know they have rights (as tenants) under North Carolina law,” said David Bartholomew, an attorney with PLS.

Feature (North Carolina)

John Boyle
Asheville Citizen-Times (NC)
March 1, 2019
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Tags: Housing: Eviction, Housing: Landlord-Tenant

Organizations mentioned/involved: Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) (North Carolina)


DETAILS

Stateline cited Princeton University’s Eviction Lab, which found that, “U.S. property owners had submitted at least 2.3 million eviction filings in 2016.” The findings also showed, “Black renters disproportionately bore the brunt of the eviction crisis.”

That’s not the direction Pisgah Legal and other affordable housing advocates want to see these numbers heading, and that was part of the impetus in creating the TERP.

It seems to be helping. Pisgah Legal notes that from July 1, 2018-Jan. 31, 2019, the nonprofit closed 75 percent more eviction cases in Buncombe County than in the same period of 2017. Of those cases, 150 percent more clients have received representation from PLS attorneys, rather than just advice.

The idea with TERP is to periodically station Bartholomew and another housing attorney, Thomas Lodwick, in the courthouse to meet people facing eviction, literally just prior to their hearings before a magistrate judge.