Cooper announces next application period to help people with rent, utilities

RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that a second application period is open to help low-income renters who are having financial problems during the COVID-19 pandemic with rent and utility bill assistance.

The announcement came ahead of a new Executive Order, which takes effect on Sunday, and requires anyone asking for unemployment benefits to prove they’re looking for work.

The NC HOPE Program provides rent and utility bill assistance to prevent evictions and utility disconnections.

“I strongly encourage landlords and utilities across our state to lend a hand to their communities and to participate in these programs so that we can keep people in their homes with their lights on,” Cooper said in a news release. “I am proud that North Carolina is taking steps to support families who need it as we emerge from this pandemic.”

There were about 36,000 families who were given the assistance during the first round of applications. The program also helps landlords.

Officials encouraged them to sign up for help with expenses since they have not been able to evict people who are behind on their rent during the moratorium.

The eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of June. Cooper o Wednesday said he doesn’t know if he will extend it.

The NC HOPE program will still continue even if the moratorium is removed.

>> Read more about the governor’s announcement and the HOPE program here.

(WATCH BELOW: Many say NC HOPE Program hasn’t followed through on promise to pay rent, utilities)