Durham Rent Relief Program is live!

City of Durham residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for rental and utility assistance at DURHAMRENTRELIEF.ORG
Durham Rent Relief Program. Renters and landlords in the City of Durham: Apply now for rental and utility assistance at durhamrentrelief.org.
Visit the Durham Rent Relief Program website at durhamrentrelief.org.

DURHAM—Legal Aid of North Carolina and the City of Durham are announcing the launch of the Durham Rent Relief Program, which provides rental and utility assistance to city residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

City residents can go to durhamrentrelief.org to apply and learn more about the program, including eligibility requirements, what documents they need to apply, how to get help with the application process, how the program works for landlords, and more.

"Using legal advocacy to ensure stable housing for low-income people has always been a top priority for us," said George R. Hausen, Jr., executive director of Legal Aid of North Carolina.

"Unfortunately, legal help alone isn't enough right now," Hausen said. "People need to be able to pay rent to stay in their homes. We undertook this project because we needed to do more for people facing eviction and homelessness. By distributing this financial relief, we are ensuring that Durham residents have what they need to stay in their homes, safe and sound."

The program is funded by the City of Durham, using funds provided by the federal government for emergency rental assistance. “Low-income Durham renters have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Elaine O’Neal, “The Durham Rent Relief Program will offer much-needed financial help to keep people in their homes.”

A total of $5.7 million in rent and utility assistance is available. Assistance from the program is available on a first-come, first-served basis until funding runs out. Renters at imminent risk of eviction will receive top priority. Priority will also be given to households with very low incomes or with one or more members who have been unemployed for at least 90 days.

The program can provide assistance to cover past-due, current, and future rent, and past-due and current utility payments. Renters who received assistance from Durham County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program in 2021 can also receive assistance from this program, as long as the assistance covers different months.

Once an application for assistance is approved, payments from the program can be made within 72 hours.

The Durham Rent Relief Program is funded by the City of Durham and administered by Legal Aid of North Carolina. The program uses funds appropriated by the U.S. Congress in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Fast facts

  • Renters and landlords can apply for assistance through the program.
  • Residents of public housing, renters receiving project-based rental assistance, and renters with housing vouchers can receive assistance through the program.
  • Hotel and motel residents can receive assistance through the program.
  • Immigrants of any immigration status can receive assistance through the program.
  • Assistance can cover past-due, current and future rent, and past-due and current utility payments.
  • Priority is given to renters facing imminent eviction, households with very low incomes, and households with at least one member who has been unemployed for more than 90 days.
  • Renters who received assistance from the Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program in 2021 can receive assistance from this program as long as it covers different months.

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About

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Learn more at legalaidnc.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Need legal help? Call 1-866-219-5262 (toll-free) or apply online.

Media contact

Sean Driscoll, Director of Public Relations, Legal Aid of North Carolina, 919-856-2132, seand@legalaidnc.org