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Greensboro City Council votes to accept nearly $9 million in rental assistance

The City of Greensboro was awarded $8,949,177.90 in Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds for eligible households struggling financially due to COVID-19.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — On Tuesday night Greensboro City Council will vote to adopt acceptance of millions of dollars worth of funding that could save thousands of residents from eviction, or at the very least, help them out during a difficult time.

The vote on February 2 is really just a formality. The city was already granted the money. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m.

The City of Greensboro was awarded $8,949,177.90 in Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds for eligible households struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

City staff applied to the US Department of Treasury for the financial assistance, which will be used for rent, utilities, and other related housing expenses, and was recently notified its application was approved.

The nearly $9 million earmarked for the city is from the new $25 billion Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program that was established by the US Congress when it passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 in December.        

RELATED: Facing eviction? Waiting on help from the HOPE Program? Answers from experts

"Given this pandemic and the seriousness of it, we're trying to keep as many people in their homes as possible and keep them safe," Director of Neighborhood Development Stan Wilson said.                                                      

Meanwhile, Neighborhood Development Department staff is putting together a Request for Qualifications for experienced community partners to apply as program administrators for processing applications for assistance and providing the funding.                                                       

"The way they'll be able to apply is through our partner agencies," Wilson explained. "Right now we're working with the organizations like the Greensboro Housing Coalition and the Salvation Army."                                      

We know many of you want to rush to apply right now. But a city spokesperson said the funds are not yet in hand, and the application process is still being worked out.    

"We'll do a real launch soon to make sure everybody knows who to call, and have systems and everything set up."

Thomas Clodfelter said he'll apply as soon as its available. Clodfelter said he has HIV, an underlying health condition, and has tried to limit his exposure during the pandemic.

"I need help with rent and the light bill," he said. "These people out here we are struggling, we are mentally, physically, and emotionally broken I mean this pandemic has us scared. I just hope the money goes to the right people, the people who need it."

RELATED: Greensboro awarded $9 million in federal emergency rental assistance

The City will announce details of the program and its application process when they are established. 

Many people, like Clodfelter, first tried applying for the HOPE Program for rental assistance.

"I just waited and waited and waited, and nothing," Clodfelter said. "I don't need a lot of help, just a little."

Others were approved for the HOPE Program, but then found out their landlord didn't accept the funds. So, can they apply for this city money too?

According to Wilson: yes. 

"If they have not received those {HOPE Program} funds then they can apply."

Wilson said the city is hoping funds will be rolled out by late February or early March.                                                 

"We're trying to get it out as quickly as we can."                                                      

If you can't wait, and you need help with rent and utilities now, Wilson said to call the Greensboro Housing Coalition. There are still some funds left through the CARES Act.                                                     

Have any questions? Call the City’s Contact Center at 336-373-CITY (2489).