Facing eviction? $11M in rent help remains for Charlotte residents affected by COVID

·3 min read

There’s still $11 million in rent and utility assistance available for Charlotte residents with overdue balances or who are at risk of falling behind.

June applications for RAMPCLT, the local rent, utility and mortgage assistance program, will be accepted through Tuesday. They will resume again July 1-15.

State and local officials are encouraging residents with unpaid balances to apply, as the federal eviction moratorium is set to expire June 30.

Charlotte residents who have experienced a pandemic-related income reduction or financial hardship can apply at rampclt.com.

Priority is given to applicants earning at or below 30% of the area median income ($26,200 for a family of four), then up to 50% AMI ($41,750 for a family of four), and then households up to 80% AMI (or $66,800 for family of four).

Those who can’t complete the application online should call 980-406-7509. Either tenants or their landlord can start the process.

Funding for Mecklenburg residents outside the city of Charlotte, including the towns and unincorporated areas, is currently exhausted.

But state officials have plans to refill that program soon with another $49.4 million headed to Mecklenburg, said Laura Hogshead, chief operations officer for the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

Where help is most needed

Since launching in 2020, the Mecklenburg program has distributed $14.3 million in rent payments and a little more than $1 million for utilities.

The largest number of eligible applications have come from residents in ZIP codes 28216, 28269, 28262, 28208 and 28212, according to DreamKey Partners, the nonprofit administering Mecklenburg’s program.

The federal moratorium enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not stop all evictions, just those for tenants with a COVID-19 related income loss or illness who sign an affidavit stating they cannot pay and have “used best efforts” to seek out financial assistance, such as the RAMPCLT program.

Landlords currently can file evictions for other reasons, including lease violations not related to missing payments. The moratorium ends June 30. Gov. Roy Cooper has not announced any plans to extend the state’s moratorium, which mirrors the federal order and ends the same day.

NC HOPE program

The state’s HOPE housing program reopened applications in May after the fund was replenished by recent federal aid bills.

Hogshead said she expects applications to increase as the moratorium deadline draws near.

“I think people will be paying attention as June 30 approaches,” she said. “We’re hoping to get the word out and get that assistance out. We don’t want landlords to start eviction proceedings on July 1 when there are funds out there.”

Unlike Mecklenburg’s program, only the tenant can begin a HOPE application.

The most recent HOPE allocation is open to residents of 88 NC counties that did not receive their own federal allocations for rent and utility help.

The counties not included in this round of HOPE funds are Wake, Durham, Johnston, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Cumberland, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover and Union.

Residents living in those 12 counties should apply through their local programs.

Information about Gaston’s rental assistance program is available on the county website, or by calling 704-862-7901.

Union County’s program qualifications are available on the county website or by calling 980-246-8181.

Residents in Cabarrus County can visit the program website for more information or apply online. Paper applications are available at the Government Center, Human Services center, library branches and the Veterans Services Office.

Those three programs each accept residents earning up to 80% of the area median income who have experienced pandemic-related financial hardships.