Local News

Wake County opens application for organizations to help create housing stability

Posted July 26, 2020 4:56 p.m. EDT
Updated July 27, 2020 12:06 a.m. EDT

As unemployment claims due to COVID-19 surged in the past four months, the fear of eviction is now looming over many households. To prepare for this new reality, Wake County is asking local organizations to help support renters.

— As unemployment claims due to the coronavirus pandemic surged in the past four months, the fear of eviction is now looming over many households.

To prepare for this new reality, Wake County is asking local organizations to help support renters.

"A lot of folks have lost their jobs, and unemployment insurance can only get you so far. Here in Wake County, now that we no longer have the statewide eviction moratorium, we are seeing a rise in evictions," said Loren McDowell, the Wake County housing director.

This week, in an effort to protect residents, Wake County opened applications for organizations that can offer help with creating housing stability. The department is looking to partner with both for-profit and nonprofit groups to fund landlord/tenant mediation, legal services and emergency financial assistance.

One organization stepping up is Legal Aid of North Carolina, which provides pro bono support to those facing eviction.

"The attorneys in Wake County, and really across the state, understand that there are low-income people that cannot afford an attorney on their own. Low-income people need to be able to retain their housing so that we don't have many homeless families in the city," said Pamela Thombs, with Legal Aid of North Carolina.

By combining federal CARES Act funding streams, up to $22 million will be available to help with these prevention programs.

"We need to make sure that folks can stay home, socially distance and stay healthy," said McDowell.

With the right partnerships, Wake County leaders say that money will provide more residents with peace of mind of knowing where they will lay their head at night.

Anyone interested in submitting a proposal can email housing.info@wakegov.com. All proposals are due by Friday.

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