Pitt County DSS offers helps to get renters back on feet

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Pitt County Department of Social Services is helping renters in the area pay back rent because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A national eviction moratorium was put in place in September 2020. It was extended multiple times before the U.S. Supreme Court voted for it to expire in late August.

The ending of this federal program is why agencies like the Pitt County DSS are offering extra help to pay back rent for people.

“As long as you are behind by x-number of months and your situation is related to COVID, and you meet the income level, we at DSS can pay up to six months of the back rent,” said Dr. Augustine Frazer, the Pitt County DSS deputy director.

Since June, this program has provided eviction and utility assistance for those who couldn’t pay rent due to something COVID-19 related. To see if you qualify, click here.

“We wrote a grant through the Department of Commerce and we were granted close to $1 million,” said Frazer.

So far, the program has helped over 70 people with more than $29,000 in utility assistance, and one Pitt County resident with nearly $3,000 in rental assistance.

“With this program, we will at least be able to bring them up to par,” he said. “So they don’t have to worry about their rent, reduce homeless and even reduce the number of people who may be at risk for homelessness.”

Frazer said if you think you qualify, to apply.

“At least if not anything else, call and make inquiries,” Frazer said. “You may qualify, you may not, but it’s not going to hurt by checking out if you qualify.”

There are many ways you can apply.

“You can go online to Pitt County DSS, fill the form that will come straight to staff who can vet those and follow up with you,” he said. “Or go to human services as a walk-in and put in an application.”

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