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Governor Cooper Announces $175 Million to Assist with Rental, Utility Payments for North Carolinians

COVID-19 Resource Center ,

Yesterday, Governor Cooper announced three programs designed to provide rental and utilities assistance for qualifying North Carolinians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. $175 million dollars have been allocated to the following departments to facilitate and execute these programs: North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency ($94 million), Department of Health and Human Services ($53 million), and the Department of Commerce ($28 million).

Eviction Prevention and Utility Payments

North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) will support rental and utility payments and prevent evictions for those with a demonstrated need. The funding will be distributed to eligible community agencies around the state that will work directly with North Carolinians on an application and disbursement process. The fund includes $28 million from federal Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funding and the remaining $66 million from CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) money. 

Crisis Response and Housing Stability

Through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) About $53 million of the funding will be designated for the Emergency Solutions Grant-Coronavirus (ESG-CV) Program. The federal ESG-CV money is intended for families experiencing homelessness or who face a more immediate risk of homelessness and will be distributed by similar community agencies handling NCORR’s program. This innovative model will help streamline the process for families. Once a person applies, local community agencies will determine which program they are eligible for and then complete the application quickly. 

Local Government Funds

Through the North Carolina Department of Commerce, $28 million of federal funding will be administered by local governments. This money also comes from the federal CDBG-CV program and will be disbursed by incorporated municipalities under 50,000 residents and counties under 200,000 residents that apply to participate. Local governments are encouraged to prioritize the money locally to help their residents pay rent and outstanding utility bills. In addition, the funds may provide support for internet access, food distribution, COVID-19 testing and diagnosis and employment training for health care workers.

What's Next?

Programs are expected to be “launched in the coming weeks.” It is undetermined how this announcement will impact the viability of HB 1200. AANC (Apartment Association of North Carolina) and TAA will work with housing stakeholders over the next few days to gauge the application and eligibility requirements. HB 1200 calls for rental and utility assistance to North Carolina residents at 100% AMI and direct payment to landlords and utility providers. We hope these requirements will be adopted under the eviction prevention and utility program described above. As we learn more about the rental and utilities assistance programs we will share them.


The following press release was originally posted on governor.nc.gov here.

Governor Roy Cooper yesterday announced $175 million to help North Carolinians with rental and utility payment support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“COVID-19 has strained family finances across North Carolina, and many people are struggling to make ends meet,” said Governor Cooper. “People need a safe, stable place to call home, especially during this pandemic, and we must help keep people in their homes and keep their utilities on while our economy recovers.”

Today’s announcement includes three programs designed to work together to help people avoid eviction and pay their bills, per the Governor’s direction. 

Eviction Prevention and Utility Payments: Approximately $94 million of the funding will be disbursed by the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) to support rental and utility payments and prevent evictions for those with a demonstrated need. The funding will be distributed to eligible community agencies around the state that will work directly with North Carolinians on an application and disbursement process. The fund includes $28 million from federal Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funding and the remaining $66 million from CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) money. 

Crisis Response and Housing Stability: About $53 million of the funding is designated for the Emergency Solutions Grant-Coronavirus (ESG-CV) Program through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The federal ESG-CV money is intended for families experiencing homelessness or who face a more immediate risk of homelessness and will be distributed by similar community agencies handling NCORR’s program. This innovative model will help streamline the process for families. Once a person applies, local community agencies will determine which program they are eligible for and then complete the application quickly. 

“Families in crisis don’t have time to spare, and our state agencies are coordinating a plan to make it easier for people to get the support they need,” said Governor Cooper. 

Information about how people can apply for the NCORR program and the ESG-GV program will be shared once the programs have launched in the coming weeks. 

“During this crisis, it is more important than ever that government work smarter and faster to deliver relief to people facing eviction and utility disconnection. NCORR is proud to be partnering across agencies to make the most of federal funds in North Carolina,” said Chief Operating Officer Laura Hogshead.

”Having a stable, safe place to live is fundamental to well-being and health. We continue to prioritize supporting people in meeting basic needs as part of our COVID response,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen.

Local Government Funds: Another $28 million of federal funding will be administered by local governments through the North Carolina Department of Commerce. This money also comes from the federal CDBG-CV program and will be administered by incorporated municipalities under 50,000 residents and counties under 200,000 residents that apply to participate. Local governments are encouraged to prioritize the money locally to help their residents pay rent and outstanding utility bills. In addition, the funds may provide support for internet access, food distribution, COVID-19 testing and diagnosis and employment training for health care workers. 

“The Commerce Department has a long history of collaborating with our local government partners to administer federal resources during times of crisis,” said Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland. “As a ready conduit for vital assistance to North Carolina communities, our CDBG program has proven its value many times over.”

The application process for local governments to apply for the Commerce-administered funding has opened. Eligible local governments who would like to apply for the Commerce CDBG-CV program can click here to learn more.