State officials overseeing COVID-19 relief efforts say hundreds of millions of dollars remain available to help businesses and homeowners who suffered financial loss due to the pandemic. WRAL-TV says a state legislative oversight committee Tuesday heard reports from agencies in charge of business relief and homeowner relief programs. In both cases, money is already flowing to help those impacted by the pandemic and its related shutdowns.
Out of the initial sum, about $27 million remains for hospitality grants, and $177 million remains for reimbursement grants for other businesses.
Mortgage Assistance still open
The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency manages the state’s Homeowner Assistance Fund. Agency director Scott Farmer said the state’s initial federal allocation was $273 million to help homeowners who suffered financial hardship due to the pandemic.
The grants don’t go to the homeowners themselves. They go to lenders or tax agencies to pay off delinquent accounts that could lead to foreclosure.
Farmer told lawmakers Tuesday the process generally takes sic to eight weeks because the agency and lenders have to coordinate to verify eligibility and confirm delinquent amounts.
The program got underway in January. Agency spokeswoman Connie Helmlinger told WRAL News that only about $1 million has gone out to date to assist 94 homeowners. More than 5,400 applications are in the process, and 1,000 of those are in the final stages.
Assuming all the applications in the process are eligible and paid out, officials estimate about $119 million still remains for other homeowners to apply for.
Homeowners can apply online at www.nchaf.gov, or via phone at 1-855-696-2423. The call center is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.