North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper formally announced on August 25 the roll-out of three housing assistance programs, which will use $175 million in funding from the CARES Act passed in the spring. Because North Carolina’s statewide eviction moratorium expired on June 21, these resources could serve as a lifeline for many renters who were scrambling to pay rent and arrears.
Governor Cooper tasked the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) with managing the $94 million Eviction Prevention and Utility Payments Program. Twenty-eight million of that $94 million comes from the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) fund created by the CARES Act. The other $66 million comes from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, also created under the CARES Act. This program will target those below 80 percent area median income (AMI) in need of rental assistance.
Another program, Crisis Response and Housing Stability, will utilize $53 million of the total $175 million. These resources come from the federal Emergency Solutions Grant Coronavirus (ESG-CV) program created by the CARES Act. The program will be run by the Department of Health and Human Services and will target services to those experiencing homelessness or immediately on the brink of homelessness (i.e., people with incomes below 50 percent AMI).
Finally, Governor Cooper directed another $28 million from the CDBG-CV fund to local governments to use at their discretion. The Department of Commerce will oversee this funding stream.
Advocates in North Carolina are grateful for the new resources but reiterate that these funds are not enough. "While we welcome this much anticipated funding finally getting to the families who need it,” states North Carolina Housing Coalition Policy Director Pam Atwood, “our state missed an opportunity to get closer to the scale of the need by rejecting a bipartisan bill (HB1200) that would have allocated $200 million in CARES Act funding for rental, utility, and mortgage assistance.”
NLIHC shares North Carolina Housing Coalition’s cautious optimism and recognizes that renters need robust relief from the federal government immediately, or else a surge in evictions will occur when moratoria end.
Read NC Housing’s press release at: https://nchousing.org/governor-cooper-formally-announces-rental-utility-assistance-relief-program/