Greensboro received word that it has been awarded nearly $9 million from the federal government for rental and utility assistance payments.
The money is part of the $25 billion in Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds that were part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which Congress passed in December 2020. Greensboro as a community of more than 200,000 was eligible to apply for its own funding and didn’t have to go through the state.
The City Council is expected to vote to accept the funds from the US Department of the Treasury at its meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2. Once the money is accepted, the process to apply for this assistance will be announced.
The Greensboro Neighborhood Development Department is currently developing a request for qualifications for community partners to apply as program administrators for processing applications and providing funding.
Under the CARES Act, Greensboro received about $2 million to assist those whose income had been affected by the COVID-19 shutdown with rent, utilities and mortgage payments.
Neighborhood Development Department Director Stan Wilson said that the city had more flexibility with this money than with CARES Act funds. He noted that with these Treasury Department dollars people can receive up to 12 or in some cases 15 months of assistance which will be awarded in three-month increments.
With the CARES Act money, the maximum amount of rental assistance was three months.
Also, the renter doesn’t have to be behind on the rent to receive assistance, if they otherwise qualify, but assistance will be provided to pay rental arrears before the household receives assistance for future rent payments.
To qualify for the funding, people have to live in the City of Greensboro, be over 18 years of age and have a household income that is less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income. For a one-person household that corresponds to less than $37,050 per year. For a four-person household, 80 percent of the Area Median Income is $52,900.
Those eligible who have been unemployed for 90 days prior to the application and households that are at or below 50 percent of the area median income will be prioritized.