Greensboro residents receive money to help with rental assistance

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GREENSBORO,N .C. — The City of Greensboro is getting $8,949,177.90 from Federal Emergency Rental Funds.

That money will go to community groups helping families who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

The Greensboro Housing Coalition, Greensboro Urban Ministry and the Salvation Army will be receiving a share of the funds. 

The money is coming from the new $25 million federal relief bill. City officials are hoping it will help keep Greensboro families in their homes with their utility bills paid.

“There’s about 800 folks now pending eviction. From what I understand, the need is really in the thousands,” said Stan Wilson, the neighborhood development director for the City of Greensboro.

That’s just an estimate of the number of families who are struggling. Now, with the extra nearly $9 million in their pockets, city officials are trying to help.

“COVID19 has hit and has become such an economic crisis. A lot of people are unable to work or they’re working less,” Wilson said.

This is the second time the city has offered rental and utility assistance. The first program launched in August 2020.

“In two days, we had probably a thousand calls and about 1,300 applicants,” Wilson said.

But the need is still there. Myron Wilkins sees it every day.

Before the pandemic, the executive director of Greensboro urban ministry had budgeted about $4,500 a month to help around ten households with their rent and utility payments.

“In December of this year, we invested $95,000,” Wilkins said. “[To help] an estimated 170 households.”

That’s just in one month. The money the organization has been using to help has been coming out of their own pockets.

Wilkins said they don’t turn anyone away, as long as they have proof they need help.

“There are a lot of people hurting,” he added.

This new grant money will allow up to 12 months of financial assistance per household. The money will be given out on a case-by-case basis through three-month increments.

Wilkins is hopeful that once city officials allocate funds in their direction, they can make more of a difference.

“We’re looking at helping maybe more people as they come, but also to say to people who come to us, we’re looking to go deeper and longer,” he explained. “So they don’t fall so far behind that they lose hope.”

City leaders will also be looking at other local organizations to see if they’re interested in expanding their programs.

The city council will vote and officially receive the funds on Feb. 2.

Once they have a process in place, they will release information regarding qualifications and applications.

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