Media Contact

Janna Farley,

May 22, 2020

Good health starts with stable housing.

Now, there’s a good solution for North Dakota renters who could be facing eviction because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The North Dakota COVID Emergency Rent Bridge program from the Department of Human Services can provide temporary rental assistance to eligible renters who are experiencing a loss of household income due to COVID-19. As the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus continues to rise and more and more North Dakotans are being laid off or furloughed because of COVID-19, the program couldn’t come at a better time, the ACLU of North Dakota said.

For weeks, the ACLU of North Dakota and area nonprofit organizations like the Fargo-Moorhead Coalition to End Homelessness and High Plains Fair Housing have been urging Gov. Doug Burgum to issue a temporary eviction moratorium for people behind on their rent for the duration of the pandemic. After getting the chance to evaluate the Rent Bridge program, the ACLU of North Dakota has determined it could be the answer North Dakota renters struggling because of the pandemic need.

“Safe, stable and decent housing has always been central to ensuring peoples’ health and stability – that’s why we wanted Gov. Burgum to issue a temporary eviction moratorium,” said Dane DeKrey, advocacy director for the ACLU of North Dakota. “The Rent Bridge program has the potential to be an even better solution to keep people in their homes and to make it easier for North Dakota renters who are involuntarily out of work to get back on their feet when the economy rebounds. We’re happy the state finally responded to our concerns and call to action.”

About the ACLU of North Dakota

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of North Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes South Dakota and Wyoming. The team in North Dakota is supported by staff in those states.

The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.  In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ communities. The ACLU of North Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of North Dakota.