MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — The City of Charlotte's emergency mortgage assistance program is meant to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and keep their electricity and water on during the pandemic, but more than 90% of the available funds is sitting unused right now.
"We've received over 5,000 applications for assistance with rent, but our mortgage assistance program opened on the very same day and we've only received under 300 applications," DreamKey Partners Senior Vice President of Programs and Fund Development Erin Barbee said. "That's staggering for us, because we know that the need is out there and we know that people need access to these funds."
Of the $2.5 million available for mortgage relief in Mecklenburg County, DreamKey Partners, which is managing the program, reports just $233,000 is spent so far. Barbee said the money runs out in September.
"We haven't even put a sliver in that $2.5 million," she said. "We encourage people to please, please utilize these funds before they run out."
The program is specifically for people with incomes at or below 80% the average median income at the time of a layoff:
Household Size / Annual Income Limit
- 1 Person - $46,800
- 2 Person - $53,450
- 3 Person - $60,150
- 4 Person - $66,800
- 5 Person - $72,150
- 6 Person - $77,500
To qualify, people must live in Mecklenburg County, have a COVID-19 hardship, their loan must have been current prior to the COVID-19 hardship, their loan cannot be in a loss mitigation program or in active foreclosure and the home in question must be their primary residence.
A new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia found there is a real need for mortgage help. The study concluded from April to November, minorities and lower-income borrowers had "twice as high a nonpayment rate as Whites and higher-income borrowers."
DreamKey Partners is creating a marketing plan to better get the word out about the program.
Those interested can apply HERE