More help on the way for applicants of NC HOPE program struggling to avoid eviction

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Tens of thousands of North Carolinians have struggled to avoid eviction during the pandemic, and as the Jan. 31 deadline for state evictions to be forgiven approaches, more help is on the way for those struggling. 

As of Jan. 25, roughly 34,000 families have received financial assistance from the state through its NC HOPE Program. It’s designed to give financial help for struggling families and to help them pay their rent and utility bills. 

The state still has roughly 8,000 more applications waiting to be filed. 

Here is how those numbers break down in the Triad: 

  • Guilford County – 3,580 applications filed; 1,044 have had payments go through; 1,399 wait for final signatures; 1,137 left for approval; 
  • Forsyth County – 2,034 applications  filed; 726 in payment stage;  661 wait for final signatures; 647 left for approval; 
  • Davidson County – 602 applications filed; 235 in payment stage; 81 wait for final signatures; 286 left for approval; 
  • Randolph County – 362 applications filed; 197 in payment stage; 52 wait for final signatures; 113 left for approval; 
  • Alamance County – 1,015 applications filed;  446 in payment stage; 397 wait for final signatures;  172 left for approval.

Per Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order, eviction moratoriums are scheduled to end on Jan. 31. 

Thousands of families have struggled to get their applications approved before Jan. 31 due to the high volumes experienced at the state level for assistance. 

As a way around this, the N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency has opened a new online tool applicants can access to speed up the approval process. 

Haley Pfeiffer Haynes, the chief of external affairs for NCORR, spoke to FOX8 and explained the new system will be accessed through an e-mail applicants will receive after signing up online. 

“The new rental policy…is a formal based award system that uses the county average rent for a two bedroom apartment as calculated by HUD,” haynes said. “It’s then multiplied by the number of months since April 1 that rent was late.” 

The applicant will then be able to insert their information and find out what their rental award will be. They will then go through the process online of the best way to get their rent paid off. 

Haynes also explained that later this week, the NCORR will roll out an applicant access portal that will give applicants even more access to their information.

“They will be able to log in and provide pieces of information needed to be able to complete their award process,” Haynes said.

That will include the ability to insert landlord contact information if the applicant’s landlord has not followed through with the NCORR. 

Another addition that could make all the difference in the world is more funds being granted to the state to help with rent forgiveness — funds that could be given out from local organizations.

NCORR is expected to receive an additional $542 million. 

The Biden Administration and the CDC have extended the coverage of eviction moratoriums. 

Haynes said she expects Governor Cooper to do the same later this week with an extension by two months.

She explained that if that does not happen, people can still print out an eviction moratorium declaration to present in the event that they do face eviction. 

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