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Need rent, utility, or mortgage assistance? How to get it in Greensboro, Guilford Co. & the Winston-Salem/Forsyth Co. area

Landlords can apply for this on behalf of their renters as well.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is bringing almost $700 million to the state of NC to help those affected by COVID-19. Every program works a bit differently and has its own processes. In this story, you will find information on programs in Greensboro, Guilford County, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County. 

Marla Newman, Community Development Director for the City of Winston-Salem, Sharon Barlow, Deputy Director of the Guilford County DHHS, Caitlin Bowers, City of Greensboro Community Development Analyst joined us to answer questions.

GREENSBORO

This program is for residents who live within the city limits. The applications should open sometime in March.  The City of Greensboro CARES Act program for rent and utility assistance will continue until the City’s ERAP funding begins by the end of March. City of Greensboro residents can learn more at www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVIDHousingAssistance.

ERAP assistance can be provided three months at a time, up to 12 months. Applicants will be recertified on a 3-month basis. - The recertification process and requirements are still to be determined. - The household would need to prove that they still meet the income qualifications, are not receiving financial assistance from another program, and that are still experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Income requirements: 80% area median income or less (example: $52,900 for a family of 4). 

ERAP program covers rent, rental arrears, utilities, utility arrears.

  - Utilities include separately stated electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal, energy costs (e.g. fuel oil).  

- Does not include telephone, cable, or internet. Does not include utilities covered by the landlord within the rent; these will be treated as rent. 

- Utility-only or energy-only applications are eligible for rental households. 

- Arrears back to March 27, 2020. 

An “eligible household” is defined as:

Residing in Greensboro city limits;

A renter household that has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI); and

At least one or more individuals living in the household experiences a financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19and/or

Can demonstrate being at risk of homelessness or housing instability.

Prioritization:

Eligible households that include an individual who has been unemployed due to COVID-19 for the 90 days prior to application for assistance

Households with income at or below 50% AMI (example: $33,050 for a family of 4)

Utility-only or energy-only applications are eligible.

The tenant or landlord can apply. Assistance goes directly to landlords and utility providers. US citizenship not required for the tenant if the landlord applies for ERAP assistance. 

GUILFORD COUNTY

This program is only for residents living in Guilford County, if you live in the city limits of Greensboro, you must apply to Greensboro's program.

The program opened up as of Monday, February 8. Call 336-641-3000

 Under the County’s ERAP an “eligible household” is defined as a renter household that has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median and in which at least one or more individuals living in the household:

-Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income

-Incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19

-Can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability;

Additional eligibility criteria can be found on the County’s website.

What documents will I need to apply?  

Those interested in applying will need to gather some documents prior to submitting their applications.  Information needed to be uploaded at the time of application will include:

 1. Proof of residency (Driver’s License or any other official document evidencing residency)

2. Copy of rent statement or Lease Agreement and/or utility bills showing past due amount.

3. Household income verifications with proof of financial hardship for the previous two months (pay stubs, letter of termination/furlough, unemployment benefits, etc.).

What do landlords need to do to receive funding for their tenants who need help with rent?  

You will need to submit a W-9 in order to receive funds.

 Is there a requirement that eligible households have been in the current location at the start of the pandemic? No.

Am I eligible for this program if I have already received federal funding for rental assistance? No.

 How do I apply?

Guilford CARES ERUA applicants must complete an application and supply the necessary documents.  You can apply on-line (www.guilfordcountync.gov) or print an application and mail it to PO Box 3388, Greensboro, NC 27405.Call 336-641-3000 with questions.

How quickly will I hear back about my application?

Once you apply, you will hear back from a representative within 10 days. 

WINSTON-SALEM & FORSYTH CO

There are two programs available in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County area: rent/mortgage/utility assistance and rent/utility assistance. Applications are expected to be available mid-to-late March.

RENT/MORTGAGE/UTILITY

  • Eligibility:
    • 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
    • Are named in a lease, mortgage, or utility account
    • Have occupied the subject property in Winston-Salem as their primary residence for at least three months
    • At least one month behind on their rent, mortgage, and utilities when they apply
  • Assistance may include past due, current, or future assistance payments

Households may receive up to 6 months of assistance

RENT/UTILITY

  • Eligibility:
    • 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
    • Are named in a lease, mortgage, or utility account
    • Have occupied the subject property in Winston-Salem as their primary residence for at least three months, and
    • Household or individual qualifies for unemployment
    • Household or individual has experienced a reduction in household income (furlough or reduction in hours) due to COVID-19
    • Incurred significant costs or financial hardships due to COVID-19
    • Household is 80% of the area median income or lower
    • Are behind in utility or rental payments
  • Prioritization:
  • Households that are 50% AMI or lower (for a family of 4 that is $33,400)
  • Households that have been unemployed for 90 days or more due to COVID-19
  • Households with eviction notices and in imminent danger of displacement
  • May receive up to 12 months of assistance plus an additional 3 months of additional assistance if funding is available