NC HOPE Rent Assistance Program Open for Applications

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog ,

North Carolina's Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program is a new is a newly launched statewide initiative that may provide rent and utility assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the economic effects of COVID-19. You can visit the program's website at nc211.org/hope for more details.

If property managers have residents who they think could benefit from the program, and if they are willing to agree to the landlord requirements (see below), then they can refer residents to the website where they will find an online application, or they can have them call 2-1-1 for assistance.

Here is an overview provided by the state for landlords:

NC HOPE PROGRAM
The NC Housing Opportunity and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program is a new statewide initiative that provides rent and utility assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The new program will help prevent evictions and utility disconnections in order to promote housing stability during the ongoing pandemic. HOPE is an initiative of the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency, a division of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

ELIGIBILITY
Renters are eligible for the rent assistance from the HOPE Program if:

  • Their household income is 80% of the area median income or lower,
  • Their household income is 80% of the area median income or lower,
  • The rental property is their primary home,
  • The coronavirus pandemic has affected their ability to pay rent, and
  • They are behind on their rent when they apply.

WHO CAN APPLY
Landlords cannot apply for the HOPE Program, but they can refer distressed tenants to 2-1-1 for eligibility screening and referral. Renters can also apply online at nc211.org/hope.


PAYMENTS
The HOPE Program community partners will provide payment to landlords on behalf of participating renters. A community partner agency will contact you if a tenant qualifies for HOPE assistance.


COVERED COSTS
The program may cover up to six months of rent. This must include at least one payment that is already past due and up to five months of future rent payments, if the lease is still active. The program can also cover existing fees and surcharges as allowed by North Carolina law. The program can pay rent and eligible expenses back to April 1, 2020. Applicants must be behind on their rent when they apply to the program.

LANDLORD REQUIREMENTS
In order to receive payment from the HOPE Program, the landlord must:

  • Agree not to evict the tenant and end eviction proceedings for non-payment for the remainder of the lease,
  • Agree not to evict the tenant and end eviction proceedings for non-payment for the remainder of the lease,
  • Agree not to increase the rent for the remainder of the lease,
  • Agree to maintain a safe and habitable dwelling for the renter, and
  • Agree not to impose new service fees, charges, penalties, or legal fees on the tenant for the remainder of the lease.