Guilford County to provide $10 million to City of Greensboro for emergency rent, utility assistance as applications increase

Piedmont Triad News
Guilford County to provide $10 million to City of Greensboro for emergency rent, utility assistance as applications increase

Guilford County to provide $10 million to City of Greensboro for emergency rent, utility assistance as applications increase

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday night to approve a $10 million transfer to the City of Greensboro’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Homeless Prevention Program Coordinator Elizabeth Alverson said Friday without additional funding, the city expected to run out of funds for ERAP within two weeks.

She said the end of the eviction moratorium over the summer sparked an even greater need in the community.

“We already had a steady flow of applications, but we saw a huge increase in volume because of that so we know the need is still out there we’re just starting to see a lot of new folks come through the door that need assistance as well,” Alverson said.

The City of Greensboro has assisted more than 2,600 households through ERAP. There are 2,300 applications to be reviewed with a limited number of staff to handle the backlog.

“We’re really trying to ensure that we target households that have a pending eviction or have eviction paperwork, or have that notice so we can go ahead and bump them further up,” Alverson said.

Staff will prioritize those cases first. According to the Greensboro Housing Coalition, on average 200 people are facing eviction proceedings weekly in the area.

“In addition to that we’re trying to prioritize folks, so our program requirements is 80% of area median income or below, who can qualify. We’re trying to target those that are at 50% area median income and below, and then anyone who has received unemployment benefits within the last 90 days, we try to prioritize those applications as well,” Alverson said.

She said the goal is preventing a surge in homelessness, but more funds could be needed if the number of evictions continues to climb.

“We keep monitoring it closely, to make sure that we’re doing it quickly, and accurately and so the concern is there of course, but we have to go day by day,” she said.

Application turnaround time is two to three weeks if all the necessary documents are included. It can be four to six weeks if something is missing.

Alverson urges people to include current contact information to keep things moving quickly.

You can find the online application on the city’s COVID-19 housing assistance page.

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