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Fargo Offers Suggestions for Residents and Landlords During COVID-19 Pandemic and Encourages Usage of 2-1-1 Service When Necessary

04/02/2020

The North Dakota Supreme Court has suspended residential evictions (with certain exceptions) statewide until further order. This means that in Fargo residents unable to pay their rent by the due date will not be evicted by Cass County District Court. Tenants able to pay rent should still do so. The court’s order does not alter those obligations to pay rent, but is intended to provide some time for people negatively impacted by COVID-19 to seek the support they may need.

Fargo Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney is asking landlords to be compassionate and work with their tenants as they face layoffs and reduced hours. The Mayor is encouraging renters and landlords of properties large and small to engage in open dialogue with each other.

“It is very important to show compassion for fellow community members at this time. Many people are struggling with new challenges threatening their financial stability. I encourage anyone facing new financial hardships to seek the resources available to help in this uncertain time,” said Mayor Mahoney.

For those tenants who have lost their jobs or been otherwise impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, help is available. The Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT) provides financial help for renters. If tenants are unable to pay rent, they are urged to call FirstLink at 2-1-1 to seek assistance. This 2-1-1 service is supported by United Way of Cass-Clay and is a free, confidential service line available to all North Dakota and Minnesota residents 24/7.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. “I don’t have a paycheck any longer to cover my rent, what can I do?”
We recognize this is a daunting time and many are experiencing sudden changes or a loss of their paychecks in combination with other crises based on this pandemic. This is a time to utilize community organizations who dedicate their work to supporting our citizens. The City partners with several organization and calling 2-1-1 can help with navigating our metro’s service providers.
2. “I tried to file for unemployment but I was rejected. Do you have any suggestions?”
You are encouraged to re-file for unemployment. Rules are constantly evolving and state agencies are consistently applying new guidance.
3. “I don’t see any end in sight. If I fall behind this month, and we are closed for another month, I am going to be behind for 6-8 months.”
City leaders realize many people are experiencing life-changing events and encourage residents speak openly with landlords (or lenders if they have a mortgage). Banking rules are changing and everyone is experiencing change. Many landlords and lenders are working with their individual tenants and customers on a case-by-case basis. Between local non-profits, lenders, governments and national organizations, many people are working around the clock to help provide immediate relief to families as well as solicit long-term solutions. New information is forthcoming daily.
4. “I am trying to choose between my medicines, food, my child’s needs and rent. What should I do?”
You are encouraged to take care of your health needs as your first priority. The 2-1-1 service is a great next step. This system provides access to a directory of several non-profit and government organizations that provides support for housing, money, food and spiritual services. The 2-1-1 system has access to organizations to provide support for your personal and family well-being. It takes time to find the right resource but many organizations will be working to support our community members.
5. “I have fear of becoming homeless. Who can help me?”
Several organizations and community members are working to prevent this situation. Calling 2-1-1 will provide support to navigate this difficult time.