CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — Cabarrus County has received a lifeline to help households hit hard by the pandemic.
In a news release Wednesday, the county government announced they were awarded $6.5 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury to help pay rent and utilities for households behind on those bills. These funds were made available through the $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.
This means eligible households can get the funds to pay overdue rent and utilities that are not covered within rent dating back to March 13, 2020, and through the remainder of the year or until funding runs out. Utilities covered include electricity, gas, water and sewer; trash removal and energy costs.
“We’re on the verge of a significant housing crisis,” said Karen Calhoun, Director of Human Services for the county. “We had to take a complicated process and make it manageable for the applicant and timely for the landlords. We are fortunate to have a solid technological infrastructure and a team that could think critically and act quickly on decisions.”
Residents can apply online via a personal computer, tablet, or smartphone. Paper applications are also available at the following county offices:
- the Government center on Church Street South in Concord
- the Human Services Center on South Cannon Boulevard in Kannapolis
- branches of the county’s Public Library System in Concord, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, Midland, and Mt. Pleasant
- the Cabarrus County Veterans Services Office on Church Street North in Concord
Branches of the library system along with the Veterans Services Office will hand-deliver paper applications curbside. Those who need the applications can simply park in a designated spot and call the posted number. Paper applications can be turned in after-hours at the drop box at the Human Services Office.
To qualify for funding, households are defined as renters with an income that doesn’t exceed 80 percent of the area median income. For example, a household of one can’t exceed $46,800 per year in salary, a household of four can’t exceed $66,800, and a household of eight can’t exceed $88,200. Further requirements include:
- At least one person in the household qualifies for unemployment or has seen a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship tied to COVID-19
- Can demonstrate a risk of facing homelessness or housing instability
The application process will require documentation of need, including financial, housing, and utility verification. Those who apply online can submit scans of photos of required documents, while those who use paper applications need to submit paper copies of their documents.
Anyone who needs more information can text ERAP to 888-777, or call 704-920-1400. If calling, first select option 4, and then option 6. Additional information can be found on the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website.