- On July 23, 2020
As unemployment claims due to COVID-19 have surged in the past four months, the fear of eviction is now looming over many households in Wake County.
To prepare for this new reality, the Wake County Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization Department is preparing to launch Phase II of its House Wake! strategic plan. It includes seeking requests for proposals from organizations interested in partnering on the department’s efforts to provide housing stability to renters impacted by COVID-19.
“This is such a challenging time for so many people in our community,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Greg Ford. “This phase of our plan is important, because it will help keep residents who are experiencing financial stress due the pandemic from becoming homeless.”
By combining Federal CARES Act funding streams, up to $22 million dollars will be available to fund landlord/tenant mediation, legal services and emergency financial assistance. Beginning tomorrow, July 24, organizations interested in partnering with the county on eviction and homelessness prevention programs can submit their proposals for consideration.
“From the beginning of House Wake!, we knew we needed to plan for a wave of evictions as a result of job loss, illness and unexpected expenses due to COVID-19,” said Lorena McDowell, Wake County Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization Department director. “We value both our tenants and landlords, so we have worked towards finding a solution that supports both and allows folks to remain safely in their homes.”
Phase II of House Wake! will focus on helping to reduce evictions in Wake County, while providing resources for tenants and landlords.
The House Wake! three-step intervention process will consist of:
- Eviction Prevention,which aims to provide financial assistance to tenants and landlords to cover rent shortfalls resulting from a loss of income;
- Legal services, provided pro bono, for tenants who need legal counsel to negotiate filed evictions with landlords; and
- Homelessness Prevention and Relocation Assistance, which will assist with relocating residents whose housing could not be stabilized through interventions 1 or 2.
“This robust, three-step process will ensure that we are providing as many opportunities as possible to keep people housed during these very trying times,” said McDowell. “We look forward to partnering with our community partners, once again, in service of this great community.”
Organizations interested in submitting a proposal can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All proposals are due by Friday, July 31.
Partners for this next phase include:
- City of Raleigh
- Legal Aid of North Carolina
- The Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness
- Community partners selected through the Phase II RFP and LOI process
About House Wake!
House Wake! is a strategic plan to minimize the effects of COVID-19 on homeless and precariously housed Wake County residents, while maximizing opportunities for positive long-term outcomes. This strategic plan uses and coordinates federal, state and local funding to address the COVID-19 crisis within our homeless and precariously housed populations and aims to move the maximum number of people possible to housing stability.