Gov. Cooper announces $175M to help NC residents with rental, utility payments during COVID-19

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper listens to a question during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, May 28, 2020. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP)

RALEIGH, NC (WSPA) – Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that $175 million would be going toward helping North Carolinians with rental and utility payment support during the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has strained family finances across North Carolina, and many people are struggling to make ends meet,” Cooper said. “People need a safe, stable place to call home, especially during this pandemic, and we must help keep people in their homes and keep their utilities on while our economy recovers.”

According to the release, the governor’s announcement includes three programs designed to work together to help NC residents avoid being evicted, and pay their bills:

Eviction Prevention and Utility Payments

Approximately $94 million of the funding will be disbursed by the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) to support rental and utility payments and prevent evictions for those with a demonstrated need. The funding will be distributed to eligible community agencies around the state that will work directly with North Carolinians on an application and disbursement process. The fund includes $28 million from federal Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funding and the remaining $66 million from CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) money. 

Crisis Response and Housing Stability

About $53 million of the funding is designated for the Emergency Solutions Grant-Coronavirus (ESG-CV) Program through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The federal ESG-CV money is intended for families experiencing homelessness or who face a more immediate risk of homelessness and will be distributed by similar community agencies handling NCORR’s program. This innovative model will help streamline the process for families. Once a person applies, local community agencies will determine which program they are eligible for and then complete the application quickly. 

According to the release, information about how people can apply for the NCORR program and the ESG-GV program will be shared once the programs have launched in a few weeks.

Local Government Funds: 

Another $28 million of federal funding will be administered by local governments through the North Carolina Department of Commerce. This money also comes from the federal CDBG-CV program and will be administered by incorporated municipalities under 50,000 residents and counties under 200,000 residents that apply to participate. Local governments are encouraged to prioritize the money locally to help their residents pay rent and outstanding utility bills. In addition, the funds may provide support for internet access, food distribution, COVID-19 testing and diagnosis and employment training for health care workers. 

According to the release, the application process for local governments to apply for the Commerce- administered funding has opened and eligible local governments can apply to the Commerce CDBG-CV program by clicking here.

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