North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order to offer more protection for North Carolinians in danger of being evicted.

Executive Order 171 was issued on Wednesday, Oct. 28 to strengthen eviction protections and help renters stay in their homes, if they are unable to pay rent due to the effects of the coronavirus.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a temporary residential eviction moratorium last month. But confusion over exactly who this order protected caused inconsistent enforcement in the state and some people have been evicted who should have been protected.

Cooper’s executive order requires landlords to inform residential tenants of their rights under the CDC moratorium.

The executive order states that the CDC moratorium applies to all North Carolinians who meet the CDC eligibility requirements.

The NC Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) program provides direct payments to landlords and utilities for eligible low- and moderate-income renters who have financial difficulties caused by the pandemic and has been funded with $117 million of CARES Act money.

While the NC HOPE program is for low- and moderate-income families, the eviction protection provided in the executive order covers individuals who earn $99,000 or less and couples whose household income is $198,000 or less as long as they meet the other requirements such as being able to show a considerable loss of income due to the coronavirus.

The eviction protection starts Oct. 30 and runs through Dec. 31. An estimated 240,000 evictions filings are expected to be submitted by January 2021.

Cooper in a press release said, “Many families are trying to do the right thing, but this virus has made it difficult. Roughly three to 400,000 households across North Carolina are currently unable to pay rent. Therefore, today, I have signed a new Executive Order to prevent Evictions in North Carolina for people who can’t afford the rent.”