On its one-year anniversary, the House Wake! COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program is making it easier than ever for those facing financial hardships due to the coronavirus to receive assistance with rent and utility bills.
Beginning today, Sept. 20, applicants:
- Can self-attest to the information required to process their application when documentation is not readily available;
- Are eligible for up to six months of additional financial assistance; and
- Have in-person access to support from Legal Aid of North Carolina at the Wake County Courthouse.
In addition, landlords can now receive bulk payments for rent owed to them instead of monthly payments and the online portal for the program will be launching tonight.
“Over the past year, we’ve helped thousands of renters and landlords avoid evictions,” said Wake County Commission Chairman Matt Calabria. “The improvements we’ve made to this program demonstrate our commitment to ensuring the process is as easy as possible, so we can help residents remain in stable, safe housing.”
Self-Attestation of Information
One of the biggest challenges in processing House Wake! applications has been getting residents or landlords to submit the proper documentation in a timely manner. Now, applicants can self-attest to their financial hardships and household income, which should speed up the approval process.
This comes as the federal government has allowed flexibility in providing the necessary documentation needed to proceed with application approvals. Applicants are now asked to swear under the penalty of perjury that the information they are supplying is true.
By simply checking a box stating the information they’ve provided is correct, House Wake! can proceed with next steps.
Six-Month Increase in Financial Support
Approved applicants of the program are now eligible for up to 18 months of financial support, dating back to April 2020. This will be based on the applicants’ successful recertification and funding availability.
Bulk Payments to Landlords
Landlords receiving payments from the program can now receive bulk payments of past-due rent and current rent. Previous guidelines only allowed current payments to be made in monthly installments. Now, landlords can receive the full amount of back rent owed and up to three months of current rent in one bulk payment.
Legal Assistance at Wake County Courthouse
Legal Aid of North Carolina is now in room 125 on the first floor of the Wake County Courthouse, 316 Fayetteville St. in Raleigh, to assist renters who have had an eviction filed against them. Staff began offering this service last week and are on hand Monday through Friday.
Applicants can simply walk in during the hours of 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and get help applying for the program, discuss their individual case or learn about what other options may be available to them.
House Wake! Application Portal
In addition to the updates above, House Wake! is launching their online portal system to help track the status of applications from start to finish. The portal will launch tonight and be available for applicants and landlords beginning tomorrow, Sept. 21.
About House Wake!
House Wake! is a strategic plan dedicated to minimizing the effects of COVID-19 on homeless and precariously housed Wake County residents, while maximizing opportunities for positive long-term outcomes.
The House Wake! COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program has $90 million in federal funds to help with eviction prevention and past-due utility bills. House Wake! funds expire on Sept. 30, 2025, and the program is expected to continue until that date or until funding has been expended. As of Sept. 14, more than $20 million has been expended and/or obligated to residents approved for this program.