Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Application period closing for NC HOPE rent and utility assistance program Renters suffering COVID-related financial hardship urged to apply by Nov. 11

Nov 10, 2020

The application period for the N.C. Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program will close at 6 p.m. tomorrow. Prior to the deadline, low- and- moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are encouraged to apply online at nc211.org/hope or by calling 2-1-1 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. today or tomorrow.

Administered by the N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency in the Department of Public Safety, the HOPE Program promotes housing stability during the ongoing pandemic by providing rent and utility assistance to prevent evictions and utility disconnections. Since the application period opened on Oct. 15, more than 37,000 people have applied for assistance through the program, which is expected to deplete currently allotted funds. State officials are working to obtain additional funding to ensure that even more North Carolinians receive pandemic-related financial assistance.

HOPE Program funding is provided to the state through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant−Coronavirus Response and U.S. Department of Treasury Coronavirus Relief allocations. To date, North Carolina has directed $167 million to the HOPE program and will close the application period to ensure necessary funds for current applicants. 

To be eligible for rent and/or utility assistance, renters must be at least one month behind on their rent or utilities when they apply, have a current household income that is 80 percent of the area median income or lower, and must have had their ability to pay rent or utilities affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Under Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 171 issued Oct. 28, initially eligible program applicants may not be evicted for non-payment through Dec. 31, 2020.

Renters can apply for utility assistance, rent assistance or both programs. Once approved, rent will be paid to the landlord on behalf of the applicant, including overdue and future rent payments for up to six months. Utility payments will be made directly to the utility provider for up to six months of past due essential utilities, such as electricity, water, sewer/wastewater, natural gas and propane. 

To learn more about the HOPE Program, visit nc211.org/hope

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