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HOPE Program pays your rent & utilities. How to apply

There is $117 million to give out to low and middle-income families who are struggling to pay rent and utility bills.

COVID-19 has changed all of our lives in some way. For many, it is causing major financial hardship. A federal grant is designed to help families facing that hardship to pay their rent and utilities. 

Ryan Flynn, NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency Chief of Staff, joined 2WTK to answer your questions about the HOPE Program, which offers up to six months of help for rent and utilities. 

From the HOPE website:

The Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program is a new statewide initiative that may provide rent and utility assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the economic effects of COVID-19. The new program will help prevent evictions and utility disconnections in order to promote housing stability during the ongoing pandemic. HOPE is an initiative of the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency, a division of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. The HOPE Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program – Coronavirus and the U.S. Department of the Treasury Coronavirus Relief Funds. If you are concerned about being evicted, click here to learn how the temporary eviction moratorium may be able to help you. 

Applying for the HOPE program can happen by phone or online. Call 211, the HOPE intake business hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also fill out the application. To be eligible, applicants must: 

  • Have been affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Have a household income that is 80% of the area median income or lower
  • Occupy the rental property as their primary home, and
  • Are behind on their rent or utilities when they apply.

The rent or utilities are paid directly to the landlord or company.