The North Carolina Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions Program, NC HOPE, marked its first anniversary on October 15th. This program helps low-income renters avoid eviction by paying rent directly to landlords.
The program has paid over a half-billion dollars in coronavirus relief rental payments to North Carolina landlords and utility providers on behalf of the most at-risk families in the state. To date, the program provided $520.0 million in assistance to 135,213 families. Over $461 million of that money went to pay housing and utility costs across the state.
This program helps both renters and landlords avoid eviction proceedings during the pandemic. The program has sent funds to 30,727 landlords since May 17th of this year. Additionally, it has received over 5,500 referrals from landlords on behalf of their tenants. The program remains open to tenant referrals in 88 counties (including Bertie, Hertford, Martin, and Chowan) via their website.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said this about the NC HOPE Program in an October 20, 2021, press release:
Do You Need to Learn How to Enroll in the HOPE Program to Avoid Eviction?
If you are a low-income renter struggling to pay your rent, talk to your landlord about this program. Your landlord can make a referral to the program to see if you meet the income test. Once approved, the landlord accepts rent payments directly from the state for the duration of your eligibility. Also, you can contact the HOPE Call Center at 888.927.5467 from Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Spanish-speaking assistance is also available.
The North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, an NC Department of Public Safety agency, administers the HOPE Program and strives to help low-income families avoid eviction during the ongoing pandemic.