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More money means RAMP CLT can help more Mecklenburg County renters starting in March

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WFAE

The program offering rent and utility assistance in Mecklenburg County will start accepting new applications in March.

RAMP CLT has been distributing millions of dollars in rent, utility and mortgage assistance from the federal government throughout the pandemic, but it shut down its online application portal on Dec. 15, 2021, and has kept it closed through January.

Speaking to Mecklenburg County commissioners Tuesday, RAMP CLT Chief Strategy Officer Erin Barbee said the program is now set to receive an additional $21.4 million from the state and county, and $650,000 from the city of Charlotte. She says applications will be accepted again on March 1.

RAMP CLT also hopes to start connecting applicants with more resources that will keep them housed even after funding runs out, Barbee said.

“With this next round, while we will get it out quickly, we do have a bit of a runway to administer these funds, and we can look at more approaches, holistically, to look at the need,” Barbee said. “Because we don’t want to just snatch the rug out from everybody, we want to say we have a plan.”

The program has so far helped more than 18,000 households with rent and mortgage assistance, said Barbee, with an average per-household award of about $7,000.

Barbee says while the application portal will remain closed for new applications until March 1, people who have previously applied can still get assistance if they're at risk of eviction.

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Nick de la Canal is a reporter for WFAE covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal
Catherine Welch is Assistant News Director at WFAE. She has led newsrooms at KUNC in Greely, CO, Rhode Island Public Radio in Providence, RI and WHQR in Wilmington, NC.