Gov. Cooper talks vaccine incentives, rental assistance

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Gov. Roy Cooper addresses the state on June 2, 2021. (Photo: NC Emergency Managemenr)

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper gave an update on COVID-19 and several related issues.

Cooper and DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced the state is offering incentives for those who get vaccinated at select locations through June 8.

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Those receiving their first dose at sites in Mecklenburg, Guilford, Rowan, and Rockingham counties will be eligible to receive a $25 summer cash card. Those driving others to vaccine sites can receive $25 every time they drive someone to an appointment.

Gov. Cooper also says as we remain under a pandemic-related state of emergency, low-income renters can once again apply for rent and utility assistance through the HOPE Program.

“I’m pleased to announce that checks are already on their way to landlords and utility companies to keep people in their homes with the lights on,” Cooper said. “As of today, 924 checks for a total of $1.1 million have already been mailed to help North Carolinians in need just in the first two weeks.”

The first iteration of the HOPE Program in 2020 awarded more than $133 million in assistance to more than 36,000 families.

“Previous applicants who received help can reapply if they still need assistance, and as with the first version of the HOPE Program, payments will go directly to landlords and utility companies,” Cooper said. “In the last two weeks more than 8,000 people have already applied for financial assistance and we expect more checks to go out every day.”

You can apply for the HOPE Program here.

During the conference, Cooper also addressed Senate Republicans announcing that that Department of Environmental Quality nominee Dionne Delli-Gatti does have enough votes for confirmation.

Cooper said the nomination’s holdup “doesn’t have anything to do with her knowledge or qualifications, it has everything to do with whether we will have a clean energy future.”