(Pitt County, NC) — The Pitt County Department of Social Services has received approval from the North Carolina Department of Commerce to help more tenants who owe back rent due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some tenants are now eligible even if they have not received eviction notices.
The expanded program offers up to six months of rent payments for Pitt County residents who lease apartments, houses, mobile homes, or mobile home lots. Eligible tenants must either have received an eviction notice from the sheriff or have paid their last month’s rent, but still have unpaid rent from earlier in the pandemic.
“This is a significant expansion of eligibility. At this stage of the pandemic, many residents have gotten back on their feet and can pay their rent, but some are still struggling to catch up from earlier months,” said Jan Elliott, Pitt County Social Services Director.
Emphasizing the program also helps landlords and property managers retain tenants, Elliott comments,
“Landlords don’t have the leverage to collect back rent unless they threaten eviction and landlords don’t benefit if they evict tenants who will pay their rent now and in the future.”
Eligibility is also based on household size and current income. For example, during the previous calendar month, a household of two people must have had a total income of $3,558 or less, and a household of four people must have had a total income of $4,446 or less.
Tenants may apply for help at PittCountyNC.gov/Eviction, or by calling 252-751-9900. Nonqualifying tenants will be referred to other rental assistance programs. Citizens at risk of having their utilities shut off can call 252-751-9900 to request emergency help, or visit PittCountyNC.gov/Utilities.
For more information about emergency eviction assistance, visit Frequently Asked Questions or call DSS at 252-751-9900.