Despite the enormity of the tasks and challenges associated with managing the local response to the public health epidemic, county officials have continued to prioritize community hardships caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Over the past nine months the County has launched a series of grant programs under their “Guilford Cares” initiatives, designed to provide relief to those negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Programs designed to support small businesses, reduce food insecurities, provide child care assistance, and grants to reduce the financial impacts to tourism and arts and culture programs have been put into place. Today the County has announced the launch a new grant program designed to aid households unable to make rent or utilities payments as result of COVID-19.
On Jan.5, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury launched a $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The ERAP program is designed to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Guilford County was awarded a little over $7.25 million dollars in US Treasury funds along with a nearly $9 million award to City of Greensboro, in a separate allocation. The Guilford County Board of Commissioners approved allocating an additional $747,000 to the County Emergency Rental and Utilities assistance program bringing the total up to $8 million.
Guilford County will launch its new program with an online application process starting Mon., Feb. 8, 2021 at 9:00am. The County’s allotment will support residents throughout the County, the City of High Point and smaller cities that fall within the County limits. While residents of the City of Greensboro are not eligible to receive funds through the County’s program, they may be eligible for services within the City’s allotment, expected to launch in March.
Under the County’s ERAP an “eligible household” is defined as a renter household that has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median and in which at least one or more individuals living in the household:
- qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; and
- can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability;
- Additional eligibility criteria can be found on the County’s website.
In anticipation of Monday’s launch, those interested in applying will need to gather some documents prior to submitting their applications.
Information needed to be uploaded at time of application will include:
1. Proof of residency (Driver’s License or any other official document evidencing residency)
2. Copy of rent statement or Lease Agreement and/or utility bills showing past due amount.
3. Household income verifications with proof of financial hardship for previous two months (paystubs, letter of termination/furlough, unemployment benefits, etc.).
Starting Monday morning at 9:00 a.m., residents can apply through the County’s website at www.guilfordcountync.gov
Those residents living inside the City of Greensboro can find more information at www.greensboro-nc.gov