With the recommendation of NC's Safer-At-Home Order, TAA Staff are all working remotely. The fastest way to reach us is via email.

House Wake! COVID-19 Eviction Prevention Program Launches to Help Residents in Need

COVID-19 Resource Center ,

October 15, 2020

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Communications Office
Leah Holdren, Communications Specialist
communications@wakegov.com, 919-623-4763
Communications Office After Hours, 919-857-WAKE
wakegov.com/news

House Wake! Increases Financial Support for Residents and Landlords Facing Financial Difficulties

Great news for applicants of the House Wake! COVID-19 Eviction Prevention Program – you may now qualify for even more financial assistance. With the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency announcing the rollout of a statewide program that will bring an additional $5.9 million in financial support to the renters of Wake County, the House Wake! program will now pay 100% of approved tenants’ late rent for up to six months.

“When we launched the House Wake! program, we offered to pay landlords 50% of the late rent tenants owed, because we had thousands of renters that needed support, and that’s what we could afford to provide at the time,” said Wake County Commissioner Dr. James West. “But, with nearly $6 million more coming to our community from the state, we can now double the amount of relief we can offer, which is good for tenants and landlords in Wake County.”

Today, the state launched the NC HOPE program, which allocates funding to counties across North Carolina to address the wave of evictions that will come when the eviction moratorium expires. Because Wake County was proactive and had already developed its own eviction prevention program, the additional state funding will simply allow the county to do more. 

Upon receiving notice of these additional funds, the county updated step one of the three-step House Wake! program, which now pays 100% of up to six months of approved tenants’ back rent owed from March through December 2020. 

In return, the landlords must: 

  • Agree to forgive any remaining rent owed within this timeframe;
  • Offer to discount rent by 25% for January through March 2021; and
  • Agree to not pursue eviction for 90 days after assistance ends.

Tenants who cannot reach an agreement with their landlords in step one will be referred to step two in the program. The steps are:

1. Eviction Prevention

Through a partnership with the Telamon Corporation, the county will help tenants and landlords cover rent shortfalls,
resulting from a loss of income due to COVID-19.

2. Eviction Mediation Services

Through a partnership with Legal Aid of North Carolina, the county will provide free legal support for tenants who need
legal counsel for mediation services or to negotiate filed evictions with landlords; and

3. Relocation Assistance

The county will help relocate residents whose housing situation could not be stabilized through steps 1 or 2. 

Since launching House Wake! on Sept. 29, the county has received more than 300 applications for assistance, with hundreds more in queue. Any applicants who were approved for the previous 50% rental support will automatically qualify for the new payout. 

“Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen strong interest in House Wake! from renters who are barely hanging on in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and from landlords struggling to retain their investments,” said Lorena McDowell, Wake County Housing
Affordability and Community Revitalization Department Director. “We’re proud to provide this additional support to keep residents safely housed into the new year.” 

Residents can visit wakegov.com/housing or call 919-899-9911 to learn more and apply. 

About House Wake!

House Wake! is a strategic plan to minimize the effects of COVID19 on homeless and precariously housed Wake County residents, while maximizing opportunities for positive long-term outcomes.

This plan uses and coordinates federal, state and local funding to address the COVID-19 crisis within our homeless and precariously housed populations and aims to move the maximum number of people possible to housing stability.


September 29, 2020

taa logoStatement from TAA's Executive Director, Josie Eatmon

The Triangle Apartment Association (TAA) supports programs and initiatives that allow residents to remain in their homes, especially during this pandemic as many of our members have been working with residents since March to provide partial payment plans and other assistance in an effort to keep them in their apartment homes while shouldering the financial burden without support from their government. In this context, this Eviction Prevention Program is a welcome form of relief and could be a workable solution and a stopgap for some properties.

It’s also important to note though that while this initiative is a step in the right direction, it still asks landlords to forfeit 50% of 10 months owed rent, and also to discount an additional 25% of 1st quarter 2021 rent. This arrangement won’t work for every landlord, who will still be responsible for mortgages, utilities, and property tax burdens without discounts.

The bottom line is that we are thankful for our County Commissioners who have stepped up to create this program, but we are also maintaining hope that the federal government will finally step in to provide the resources necessary for a more robust rental assistance program.

Josie Eatmon signature

Josie Eatmon
Executive Director, Triangle Apartment Association


September 29, 2020

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Communications Office
Leah Holdren, Communications Specialist
communications@wakegov.com, 919-623-4763
Communications Office After Hours, 919-857-WAKE
wakegov.com/news

Job loss, reduced work hours and illness related to COVID-19 have caused many households in Wake County to struggle to make rent. To help them catch up on late payments and avoid eviction, the county today launched the House Wake! COVID-19 Eviction Prevention Program.

“Eviction is a harsh reality that many in our community are facing right now due to no fault of their own,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Greg Ford. “Through this new program, we can mediate relationships with landlords and help more than 3,000 households remain in their homes.”

The House Wake! COVID-19 Eviction Prevention Program consists of a three-step process:

  1. Eviction Prevention
    Through a partnership with the Telamon Corporation, the county will help tenants and landlords cover rent shortfalls, resulting from a loss of income due to COVID-19;
     
  2. Eviction Mediation Services
    Through a partnership with Legal Aid of North Carolina, the county will provide free legal support for tenants who need legal counsel for mediation services or to negotiate filed evictions with landlords; and
     
  3. Relocation Assistance
    The county will help relocate residents whose housing situation could not be stabilized through steps 1 or 2.

“The National Eviction Moratorium protects tenants unable to pay rent due to COVID 19 from becoming homeless.  Although this moratorium protects them until the end of the year, we need to start helping our residents now,” said Edward Barberio, Wake County Housing Affordability & Community Revitalization Deputy Director “We’re launching this program today, so we can avoid a large wave of evictions in January 2021.” 

In step one of the program, House Wake! will pay up to 50% of approved tenants’ back rent owed from March through December 2020. In return, the landlords must agree to forgive the remaining 50% owed in 2020 and offer to discount rent by 25% for January through March 2021. Tenants who cannot reach an agreement with their landlords in step one will be referred to step two in the program.

As the program administrator for step 1, the Telamon Corporation will process applications, coordinate in-take of perspective clients and facilitate payments to the landlords. None of the $17 million in federal CARES Act funding that supports the program will go directly to the tenants.

To qualify for assistance, applicants must:

  • Be a renter legally residing in Wake County;
  • Have a legally binding North Carolina lease that covers the assistance period;
  • Demonstrate that they have suffered financially from COVID-19; and
  • Not receive any other forms of rental assistance such as Housing Choice Vouchers, Section 8 or senior housing subsidies.

While there are no income requirements, priority will be given to residents with an income that does not exceed 80% of area median income (AMI) at the end of 2019 or pre-COVID-19.

Residents can visit wakegov.com/housing or call 919-899-9911 to learn more and apply.

About House Wake!
House Wake! is a strategic plan to minimize the effects of COVID-19 on homeless and precariously housed Wake County residents, while maximizing opportunities for positive long-term outcomes. This plan uses and coordinates federal, state and local funding to address the COVID-19 crisis within our homeless and precariously housed populations and aims to move the maximum number of people possible to housing stability.