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Need help with rent and utilities? Second round of HOPE program checks going out now

So far, 924 checks for a total of $1.1 million have already been mailed to help those in need within the first two weeks of the program.

NORTH CAROLINA, USA — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced the second wave of HOPE Program checks is going out across the state as part of the COVID-19 recovery relief effort.

The state started the Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program last year to give rent and utility assistance to eligible low-and moderate-income renters. The program promotes housing stability during the ongoing pandemic by helping prevent evictions and utility disconnections.

According to officials, the HOPE Program will serve very low-income renters in 88 North Carolina counties.

Most recently, the state opened a second application period for the HOPE program. Just within the last two weeks, more than 8,000 people have applied for financial assistance. The state said it has awarded $9.5 million.

Utility assistance is available to applicants that apply and qualify for rent assistance. Officials said utility-only applications will not be accepted in this phase of the HOPE Program.

State officials said first-time applicants and people who received rent and/or utility assistance funding from the first phase of the HOPE Program are eligible to reapply for help.

Eligible applicants may receive up to 12 months of rent assistance, which may include up to nine months of past due rent, according to NCDPS.

Rent assistance provided during the first phase of the HOPE Program counts towards the 12 months of total rent assistance that an applicant can receive.

To date, the program has awarded over $133 million in assistance to help more than 36,000 families statewide, according to NCDPS.

A complete list of the counties served by the HOPE Program, county programs, and tribal government programs can be found online using the NC HOPE Interactive Map.

You can apply online at www.hope.nc.gov. You can also call (888) 9ASK-HOPE or (888) 927-5467 to speak with a program specialist. The HOPE Call Center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.