Temporary Pause Necessary to Determine Sufficient Funding Remains for Existing Applications
Durham residents seeking emergency rental assistance now have until October 4 to submit their applications before the Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program (Durham ERAP) is temporarily paused.
The program, which is a partnership between the City of Durham and Durham County governments that is managed by the Durham County Department of Social Services, has received over 6,600 applications since it was launched in May 2021. Approximately $7.5 million in ERA-1 funds, which was the first phase of emergency rental assistance funding, have been distributed to date to prevent rental evictions of residents negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Friday, September 18, the program has 3,000 applications pending with $953,000 remaining in ERA-1 funding of the combined City and County allocation. Once the current City and County funding has been exhausted, the Department of Social Services will then use $8.1 million of State ERA-1 funds available to Durham County for emergency rental assistance.
City and County officials have agreed to pause accepting any new applications after October 4 so that the Department of Social Services can focus on existing applications. The pause on receiving new ERAP applications will remain in place until the Department of Social Services can determine that there are sufficient funds to process all of the existing applications. Once existing applications have been addressed, the City and County will determine whether there are any remaining ERA-1 funds to support re-opening the current program for new applications.
During the pause, the Department of Social Services will continue to process existing applications, including any applications submitted before the October 4 deadline. Individuals who have already submitted applications, or who submit their applications before the October 4 deadline, will be contacted by the department if additional information is required. To determine the status of their applications, applicants are encouraged to check the Durham ERAP website using their applicant ID number.
To assist with the current program, the Department of Social Services has two social workers located inside of the Durham County Courthouse to work with judicial staff to divert the evictions of tenants who have applied for the Durham ERAP and whose applications are still pending for approval. The department also continues to schedule in-person appointments with applicants who have items missing in order to complete their applications. Finally, the department has also conducted outreach with landlords in the community, with the majority of them agreeing to receive rental payments from the program.
The City and County have been allocated a second phase of emergency rental assistance funding (ERA-2) from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and are currently working to determine how these ERA-2 funds will be deployed in the near future.
To view the data dashboard on the allocation of Durham ERAP funds to date, visit the Emergency Rental Assistance | Durham, NC Open Data Portal.