Temporary Rent & Utility Assistance

close up of large apartment complex

There may be financial assistance available for those who have fallen behind on rent and/or utility bills due to COVID-19.  

How can I find rent and utility assistance? 

All 100 counties in North Carolina have Emergency Rental Assistance Programs (ERAP) available to those who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. As of October 2022, the NC HOPE Program and many local programs are no longer accepting applications. To find out if there is a program in your county that is still providing funding, visit nc211.org/rent-assistance and answer the screening questions. 

Who is eligible for Emergency Rental Assistance Programs? 

While eligibility does vary slightly by county, generally renters who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and meet income limits are eligible to apply for payment assistance. This includes, but is not limited to:  

  • Lost job or reduced hours 
  • Increased childcare expenses 
  • Medical expenses due to COVID-19 

How can I apply?  

Each program has its own detailed application procedure. In some cases, landlords will be allowed to apply on behalf of their tenant.  

Applicants will need to provide documentation of the past due amounts and the contact information for landlord/property management and/or utility providers. When approved for assistance, funds are paid directly to the providers. Programs will require disclosure of other assistance applied for or received. 

How many months of rent payments will the rental assistance programs provide? 

This will vary by county, but generally ranges between 6-12 months maximum. 

How can I make sure the process moves as quickly as possible?  

It may take some time to receive your payment through an Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). However, checking email regularly (including spam and junk folders), answering the phone and checking your voicemail, and returning requested documents quickly will speed up the process. 

Landlords will be required to sign a landlord-tenant agreement, promising the tenant will not be evicted for a set amount of time.  

What should I know about eviction laws?  

CLICK HERE to read NC 211’s eLibrary article about the eviction process in North Carolina. 

Need more information?  

Dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-892-1162 to speak with a trained call specialist, available 24/7/365.  

SOURCES: NC HOPE Program, Governor Roy Cooper, CDC, U.S. Department of Treasury 

Last updated 10/21/2022

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