Durham rental assistance program will stop accepting applications Oct. 4 :: WRAL.com


— Durham residents who need help paying their rent will need to submit their applications for aid before Oct. 4, when the Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program is temporarily paused. Aid is available to renters negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The pause, officials say, is because the program may not have enough funding to assist all people who apply. There are 3,000 pending applications that the Department of Social Services needs to parse through before accepting more.

So far, the program has helped 920 households and has handed out more than $5.3 million in funds.

The pause on applications “will remain in place until the Department of Social Services can determine that there are sufficient funds to process all of the existing applications,” city officials said in a statement.

Any applications submitted before Oct. 4 will continue to be processed. Those who have applied for relief are able to check the status of their application online.

“The department has also conducted outreach with landlords in the community, with the majority of them agreeing to receive rental payments from the program,” city officials said.

The program assists North Carolina families whose household incomes do not exceed 80% of the area median income for the county they live in and need to show they are at-risk of being homeless. 80% of Durham County’s median income is $47,500 as of 2019. 

Social workers inside the Durham County Courthouse are available to help prevent tenants from being evicted if they have pending applications.

A second sum of money has been given to Durham city and county from the federal government for rental assistance. Local officials are still working on how to use those funds.