EXPLAINER: Will North Dakota do enough to limit evictions?

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FILE – In this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo, housing activists erect a sign in Swampscott, Mass. A federal freeze on most evictions is set to expire soon. The moratorium, put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, was the only tool keeping millions of tenants in their homes. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The July 31 end of a federal moratorium on evictions has raised concerns that thousands of North Dakota residents who are behind on their rent could lose their homes.

The state has set aside $352 million to help with outstanding rent, utility payments and other expenses.

But the head of a group that provides legal advice to low-income residents says it’s not enough to prevent future evictions.

The number of eviction judgments in North Dakota increased by 15% every year from 2016 through 2019.

But last year, that figure dropped, due in part to the federal evictions moratorium and rent assistance.

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