Gov. Cooper announces NC HOPE program to help eligible residents get rent, utility assistance

North Carolina

FILE – In this June 15, 2018, file photo, cash is fanned out from a wallet in North Andover, Mass. High-interest payday and online lenders have long been among the few options for Americans with bad credit and lower incomes. Guidance issued in the spring by federal regulators cut a previously suggested rate cap on loans and that could mean banks start lending small-dollar, high-interest loans. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper announced the start of a new program aimed at helping some North Carolinians get rent and utility assistance amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Cooper said Thursday that applications are now being accepted for the N.C. Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program, which will assist eligible low-and-moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship.

The program seeks to promote housing stability during the ongoing pandemic by providing rent and utility assistance to prevent evictions and utility disconnections.

“The spread of coronavirus has affected every aspect of our lives. Many have lost jobs, had work hours cut back or had to care for someone who has become ill with COVID-19,” said Cooper. “By creating this program to help with rent and utility bills, we can keep people in their homes where they will be safest during this pandemic.”

The HOPE Program will provide $117 million for rent and utility assistance for renters who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, have a current household income that is 80 percent of the area median income or lower, and are behind on their rent or utilities when they apply.

Renters who need rent or utility assistance can apply online here. Applicants who cannot access the online application can also call 2-1-1 and speak with a program representative, who will assist the caller through the application on the phone.

Callers can reach 2-1-1 Monday-Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Renters can apply for utility assistance, rent assistance or both programs.

Rent assistance is paid to the landlord on behalf of the applicant.

This includes overdue and future rent payments, for up to six months.

At least one month’s rent must be overdue at the time of application.

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.


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