Special to Iredell Free News

Diakonos Inc./Fifth Street Ministries is now accepting applications for the N.C. Housing Opportunity and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program, to assist eligible low- and moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

The new program seeks to promote housing stability during the ongoing pandemic by providing rent and utility assistance to prevent evictions and utility disconnections.

The HOPE Program will provide rent and utility assistance for renters that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, have a current household income that is 80 percent of the area median income or lower, and are behind on their rent or utilities when they apply.

Renters can call 2-1-1 if they need rent or utility assistance. Callers will be screened by 2-1-1 for eligibility and referred to a local agency to complete the application process.

The HOPE Program is funded by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant−Coronavirus funds and U.S. Department of Treasury Coronavirus Relief funds, which have been provided to North Carolina. These funds are administered by the N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) and will be distributed through community partner agencies. NCORR is a division of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Community partners, such as Fifth Street Ministries, will accept applications and be responsible for awarding the federal funds to qualifying households in their communities. Fifth Street Ministries will provide program services for the following counties: Iredell, Davie, Surry, Stokes and Yadkin.

Renters can apply for utility assistance, rent assistance or both programs. Rent assistance is paid to the landlord on behalf of the applicant. This includes overdue and future rent payments, for up to six months. At least one month’s rent must be overdue at the time of application.

Utility payments will be made directly to the utility provider for up to six months of past due essential utilities, such as electricity, water, sewer/wastewater, natural gas and propane.

LEARN MORE

For more information visit https://nc211.org/hope/ to learn about the HOPE Program and to apply online.

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