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Applications open for new rent and utility assistance program

“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.” Gov. Cooper Said.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper announced Thursday that applications are being accepted for the N.C. Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program. 

The program will help eligible low- and- moderate-income renters going through hard financial times due to COVID-19. The goal is 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 Governor Roy 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 that have been affected by the pandemic, have a household income that is 80 percent of the area median income or lower, and are behind on their rent or utilities when they apply. 

Those who need rent or utility assistance can apply online at nc211.org/hope. Those 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 am and 6 pm.

Renters can apply for utility assistance, rent assistance, or both. 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. For more information about the HOPE Program, visit nc211.org/hope.