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Charlotte's rental assistance program to stop taking applications, signaling program's end

Housing.jpg
WFAE

RAMP CharMeck is nearly out of money, and officials say its time to stop taking new applications and start winding down the emergency rental assistance program. The last day to submit an application for help will be Nov. 15.

The program was funded by federal COVID-19 relief dollars administered by the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. DreamKey Partners, formerly known as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, oversees the program.

Since 2020, the program has disbursed $123 million to more than 23,000 families in need of help paying rent, utilities or their mortgage, according to a news release.

But "given the current pipeline of applications, the remaining funding is expected to be fully allocated by the end of 2022," the release said.

The program had already been tightening eligibility requirements in an effort to conserve the remaining funds.

Since September, staff have only been accepting applications from people with an eviction notice and a court date, and who are earning no more than 60% of the area's median income.

At a news conference Thursday, DreamKey Vice President Jennifer Jones said the program still had $2.1 million dollars remaining, and they expected to be able to assist about 400 more families.

The program currently has 500 applications in the pipeline, Jones said, but not all applications might quality. Program staff would distribute the remaining funds on a first-come first-serve basis.

Jones also said some of the program's 17 applications processors would likely lose their jobs as the program winds down. DreamKey staff were working to connect those staff members with temp agencies to help them transition to new jobs.

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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