Monday numbers: A closer look at efforts to help NC renters and landlords during the pandemic

By: - November 22, 2021 5:47 am

With the legislative session winding down, members of the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations turned their attention last week to how federal dollars have been flowing to help landlords and renters hard hit by the pandemic economy.

While the state’s Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) program got off to a bumpy start, distribution of funds has improved significantly since the spring.

Lawmakers are now weighing legislation that would permit landlords to ask for HOPE funding on behalf of their tenants and be eligible retroactively for rental arrears.

Laura Hogshead, director of the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency , says the HOPE 2.0 program is focused on speed, compliance with federal guidelines and customer service.

This week’s Monday numbers takes a closer look at how the rental and utility assistance program has evolved since last year.

Laura Hogshead, director of the NCORR

Figures were provided in presentations to lawmakers by NCORR and Governmental Operations Evaluator Corey Curry.

37,000 – number of North Carolina households assisted with rent and utility payments through the first phase of the Housing Opportunities Prevention Eviction program in Fall 2020 (HOPE 1.0)

$133 million – amount of relief money provided to those 37,000 households

$768 million – approximate amount available for the HOPE Program

88 – number of counties currently served by the HOPE 2.0 program. The remaining 12 counties (the largest counties in the state) are running their own eviction prevention programs funded through the U.S. Department of Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program

15 – maximum number of months of rent people earning below 80% Area Median Income can apply for, plus three months of utilities if they couldn’t pay rent or utilities due to a COVID-19 impact

143,971 – number of applicants served by the HOPE 2.0 program (Spring 2021) in the last 6 months

$460 million – amount of relief money provided to NC households in the last six months by HOPE 2.0

2-3 weeks – HOPE 2.0 is able to pay rent and utilities within 14-21 days of a complete application (money is sent directly to landlords and utility companies)

1 in 5 – number of adult renters who were behind on their rent, January 2021

1 in 7 – number still behind on their rent, October 2021

28 – percentage of landlords who reported deferring maintenance on at least one rental unit during the pandemic, May 2021

$2.9 million – amount NC’s HOPE 2.0 pays out daily

1,180 – number of assistance awards made daily through the HOPE 2.0 program

$450.6 million – amount that North Carolina has obligated for 173,984 households

6th – NC’s rank in the  nation for spending of federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) money

1.6 – 2.1 times – amount by which rates of COVID-19 transmission in states that did not have an eviction moratorium exceeded North Carolina’s

15,000+ – excess number of COVID-19 cases in the 11 weeks before NC had an eviction moratorium in place; there were an estimated 300 COVID-19 deaths related to evictions

139,893 – number of individual families assisted by HOPE 1.0 and HOPE 2.0

112,478 – number of checks sent to NC landlords, representing 85% of awards

$594 million – amount awarded through the HOPE 1.0 and HOPE 2.0

250 – number of case workers performing quality control for the HOPE 2.0 program

3rd – rank in the US of HOPE 2.0 in number of families served

(888) 927-5467 – the number to call to apply for assistance through the the HOPE 2.0 program

The Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations, Subcommittee on Use and Distribution on Federal COVID Funding meets again Dec. 1.

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Clayton Henkel
Clayton Henkel

Communications Coordinator Clayton Henkel manages the NC Newsline website and daily newsletter, while also producing daily audio commentaries and the weekly News and Views radio program/podcast.