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COVID-19 Information for North Carolina

The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.

State and Local Affiliates

Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.

We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.

Reopening Order

North Carolina is currently under Phase 3 of its reopening plans. Under Phase 3, public and private gatherings remain limited to no more than 25 people indoors. 

Face Mask Mandate

Governor Cooper expanded the state’s emergency plan by adding a face covering requirement for any person over the age of 2 in a public place. 

State of Emergency

Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on March 10, 2020. 

Eviction

Status: Eviction Cases Can Resume

Executive Order (Expired)

  • Action: On March 31, 2020, Governor Cooper implemented a statewide eviction moratorium through June 21, 2020.
  • Scope: Nonpayment of rent.

Court Order (Expired)

  • Action: The Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court has stayed all pending eviction cases, whether for summary ejectment or otherwise. Sheriffs are not required to execute pending writs of possession until June 30.
  • COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
  • Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Gov. Roy Cooper earmarked $175 million in coronavirus pandemic relief funds to help North Carolinians with rental and utility payments.

Approximately $94 million of the funding will be disbursed by the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) to support rental and utility payments and prevent evictions for those with a demonstrated need.

The funding will be distributed to eligible community agencies around the state that will work directly with North Carolinians on an application and disbursement process. The fund includes $28 million from federal Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funding and the remaining $66 million from CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) money.

About $53 million of the funding is designated for the Emergency Solutions Grant Coronavirus (ESG-CV) Program through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The federal ESG-CV money is intended for families experiencing homelessness or who face a more immediate risk of homelessness and will be distributed by similar community agencies handling NCORR’s program. Once a person applies, local community agencies will determine which program they are eligible for and then complete the application quickly. Information about how people can apply for the NCORR program and the ESG-GV program will be shared once the programs have launched in the coming weeks.

Another $28 million of federal funding will be administered by local governments through the North Carolina Department of Commerce. This money also comes from the federal CDBG-CV program and will be administered by incorporated municipalities under 50,000 residents and counties under 200,000 residents that apply to participate. Local governments are encouraged to prioritize the money locally to help their residents pay rent and outstanding utility bills. In addition, the funds may provide support for internet access, food distribution, COVID-19 testing and diagnosis and employment training for health care workers.

The application process for local governments to apply for the Commerce-administered funding has opened.  Visit the AANC's website to learn more. 

Rent Freeze

No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. Local rent regulation is preempted by North Carolina Code - General Statutes § 42-14.1. Rent control.

Price-Gouging Law

Under North Carolina Code § 75.38, it is unlawful to charge a price that is unreasonably excessive for a variety of goods and services during a state of emergency. Although rental housing is not specifically identified, goods and services that preserve, protect, or sustain life, health, safety, or economic well-being may be broadly interpreted to encapsulate housing.  Excessive pricing shall be determined by whether the price charged is attributable to additional costs imposed by the seller’s supplier, the price charged exceeds the seller’s average price in the 60 days prior to the declaration, and any fluctuations occurring in the regional, national, or international market. This statutory language shall hold till the expiration of the declaration of emergency or 45 days after the declaration, whichever is earlier.  

Business Liability Protections

On Thursday, July 2, 2020, Gov. Cooper established protections for businesses against civil liability. Under the rules, businesses are protected against civil liability claims resulting from customer or employee exposure to COVID-19 while on premises if the business follows applicable federal, state, and local safety guidelines. 

Local Legal and Regulatory Information

Concord

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The CARES Act allocated supplemental Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding of $400,339 to the City of Concord for grants to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. Of that amount, $18,500 has been allocated to Prosperity Unlimited, Inc. to provide mortgage and financial assistance to residents of the community. To learn more, please visit the city’s website.  

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Catawba County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Families or individuals experiencing a financial hardship with paying their mortgage, rent, utilities or other expense due to the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for financial assistance through the COVID-19 Relief Program. Applications will be available through Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry (ECCCM) beginning July 1, 2020.

To be eligible for assistance, applicants must have experienced one or more of the following hardships resulting from COVID-19: job loss, wage reduction, illness, other household impact, childcare challenges, or unable to find employment if working prior to February 29, 2020. Applicants must be residents of Catawba County.

When applying, residents will be required to provide identification (such as a driver’s license), income verification for the past 30 days, verification of job loss or income loss, benefit award letters, alimony/child support letters, Section 8 verification, current bill(s), bank statements (checking and savings), and mortgage or rent documents.

Starting July 1, residents may apply online at https://www.ecccm.org/covid or in person at ECCCM, which is located at 245 East N Street in Newton. No appointment is required. For more information about the program, call ECCCM at (828) 465-1702.

Funding for the COVID-19 Relief Program is provided by a Community Services Block Grant from the North Carolina Office of Economic Opportunity. A one-time allocation of $312,316 was awarded to Catawba County Social Services, the county’s designated Community Action Agency, for the establishment of an emergency COVID-19 relief program. The program is administered by Social Services in partnership with ECCCM.

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Gaston County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Gaston County is providing a one-time payment to assist qualifying families who were financially impacted due to a loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis. Interested persons can call (704) 862-7901. Leave your name and a phone number where you can be reached. Within 48 hours a caseworker will call and conduct a phone interview.

Additionally, Gaston Community Action is providing rental assistance to individuals in need. Qualifying households must have one working family member in the household. Requirements also include three-month income verification from date of application, employment verification, social security card, and a picture ID. To apply, call 704-748-9744 and leave your name and number. A return call will be made within 48 hours.  

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Greenville County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The United Way of Greenville County has partnered with the city of Greenville, Greenville County Redevelopment Authority, Greenville Housing Fund, SHARE and United Housing Connections to launch the Emergency Housing Assistance Fund. The organizations have collectively pledged more than $450,000 to support the fund. This fund will also receive $150,000 from the United Way of Greenville County’s COVID-19 Community Relief Fund and could potentially leverage another $7 million in federal housing funds for Greenville County.

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Iredell County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Iredell County is providing emergency assistance to persons who are in need of help that would benefit a child. Types of assistance include:

  • Rent/eviction;
  • Shelter; and
  • Utilities.

Cash payment made by vendor payment.

Eligibility includes:

  • Be in a crisis situation;
  • Have at least once child under 18 in the home;
  • Meet income and reserve requirements; and
  • Must be Iredell County resident.

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Mecklenburg County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are proud to partner with The Housing Partnership to provide rent and mortgage relief to those who have been impacted by COVID19.

If your resident is experiencing a financial hardship and cannot pay rent due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus Pandemic) the Emergency Rent Assistance Program for the City of Charlotte (ERAP-CLT) may be able to assist. 

By completing the Property Manager Application, residents will become eligible to apply to receive emergency funds to cover their out of pocket cost for rent.

ERAP-CLT is a partnership between the City of Charlotte and The Housing Partnership. ERAP-CLT is open to tenants that meet the requirements below. An ERAP-CLT representative will work with each tenant 1-on-1 to determine eligibility, provide budget counseling and provide access to additional community resources.

Tenant Eligibility Requirements include: 

  • A tenant of the approved property;
  • Must be income qualified to meet the 80% AMI and below threshold; 
  • Must have a COVID related hardship as follows: 
    • Job loss as a result of COVID-19;
    • Wage Reduction as a result of COVID-19;
    • Illness as a result of COVID-19; or
    • Childcare challenges as a result of COVID-19.

Once the property application is completed, you will be contacted by a representative from the ERAP team. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Additionally, the city of Charlotte created the Deposit Assistance Program, which provides assistance to Charlotte’s residents who have found rental housing, but have been adversely impacted by Covid-19 and need help covering the first month’s rent, security deposit, and/or utility deposit.

The Deposit Assistance Program is a partnership between the City of Charlotte and Socialserve. Charlotte residents that meet the requirements below can access assistance to move into permanent rental housing. Once an application is submitted, a Socialserve representative will work with each applicant 1-on-1 to determine eligibility.

Applicants must be:

  • A current resident of the City of Charlotte; and
  • Have sufficient income or an ongoing subsidy to pay rent for the housing unit sought; and
  • Have total income at or below 80% of the Area Median; and
  • Have been adversely impacted by Covid-19; and
  • Have or be able to obtain an approval letter from a rental property.

To apply, please click here.

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Orange County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) created the pilot Risk Mitigation and Housing Displacement Fund in an effort to: (1) encourage landlord participation in Orange County rental assistance and other subsidy programs, (2) assist with housing stabilization and mitigate displacement of low- and very low-income residents, and (3) prevent homelessness. The Fund, which is administered by the Orange County Department of Housing and Community Development Department (OCHCD) with financial contributions from the Towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough, provides assistance in three activity areas:

  • Risk Mitigation (for landlords)
  • Emergency Housing Assistance (renter assistance for security deposits, utility connections, etc.)
  • Displacement Mitigation (due to an urgent community need such as manufactured home park closures and natural disasters)

To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit the Orange County website.

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Union County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Union County has listed qualified rental assistance programs on their website that includes non-profit organizations that provide emergency cash for tenants as well as government agencies providing long-term rental subsidies.

Many programs also provide other services such as utility payment assistance, water payment assistance, electric payment assistance, holiday assistance, medical bill pay assistance, food assistance, etc.  

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