HOPE program offers assistance to those struggling to pay rent and utility bills

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — The COVID-19 pandemic has created a financial hardship for many people across the state and right here in the Cape Fear region.

Earlier during the pandemic, the government suspended evictions for renters but period is now coming to a close.

North Carolina’s evictions moratorium ended on June 30 and the CDC’s evictions moratorium, which applies to certain North Carolinians, is slated to end on July 31.

However, assistance is available to North Carolina residents through the Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions Program (HOPE program) which provides federal COVID-19 relief funds to renters to help prevent evictions and utility disconnections.

This program is available in 88 North Carolina counties for people who meet the eligibility requirements. To find out if you are eligible, check this interactive map.

If the HOPE program is not available within your county, you may still be able to apply to your county’s local or tribal rent and utility assistance program.

If the HOPE program is available within your county and fits your circumstances, here’s what you should do to apply:

  • First-time applicants should visit this website (also available in Spanish) to apply.
  • After your application is submitted, your eligibility will be reviewed and your award will be calculated accordingly.
  • Payments will occur after the agreements are signed.
  • For returning applicants, check your email for a link to reapply and contact your HOPE Specialist for help reapplying.

This FAQ from the program may also be helpful: https://www.rebuild.nc.gov/media/1746/open.

While the North Carolina Department of Justice cannot process most evictions-related requests or questions related to the HOPE program, you can contact the HOPE program directly at (888) 9ASK-HOPE or (888) 927-5467

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