More people eligible for help through NC HOPE emergency rent, utility program

CHARLOTTE — More North Carolinians are now eligible to apply for rent and utility help.

The North Carolina HOPE Program has expanded the income limit to 80% of the area median income for the county where applicants live. In May, a second application period opened and prioritized an income of 50%.

Anyone who applied during the first phase of the HOPE Program is eligible to reapply for more help.

The state’s HOPE program helps low income people struggling to pay their rent or utilities because of the pandemic. It’s been a lifeline for tens of thousands of people since it launched last year.

The NC HOPE program is available in 88 counties.


If approved, you could get up to 12 months of rent assistance, which can include up to nine months of past due rent.

This second application period includes people applying for the first time. You can also reapply even if you already got help from the program during the first round.

The program has been a lifeline for many but it’s also had some snags. Earlier this month, Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke spoke with a woman who was approved, but then waited for months before she finally got help.

Channel 9 has partnered with Crisis Assistance Ministry to help local families at risk of eviction or having their utilities disconnected. So far, you’ve donated more than $70,000.

If you can, please donate here. Any amount helps.

(WATCH: Eviction ban ends in 2 months; some renters say they’re still waiting for NC Hope money)