The county was given $215 million from the American Rescue Plan Act and will be giving grants from that fund to organizations that apply for it.
According to federal guidelines, applicants must use the money on initiatives that relate to the following areas of need:
- affordable housing and homelessness
- workforce and economic development
- parks, environment, and infrastructure
- child care and early childhood development
- behavioral health and health equity
The first round of applicants received their grants in May. One recipient was The Housing Collective, formerly known as Socialserve. The organization received $992,000 and will use the money over several years.
Tara Peele, the group's CEO, told WCNC Charlotte the money is helping expand the number of landlords they work with to provide more housing options for at-risk people. The money is also keeping tenants housed that may otherwise return to homelessness.
Peele explained that much of their funding goes toward getting individuals and families into homes. Thus, this opportunity allowed them to focus on keeping people in housing.
"That may look like just a simple payment of a late fee," she said, "so if they're late on their rent one month, we don't want that to snowball into an eviction."
Deputy County Manager Michael Bryant said organization proposals must also demonstrate substantial long-term impact on the community, even after the grant money dries up. The money awarded to organizations must be spent before 2026.
The county will host an in-person and virtual information session for interested applicants on October 28 at the Valerie C. Woodard Center.
The application portal for the second round of grants will open Monday, October 10. The deadline to apply is November 27, 2022.
WCNC Charlotte is part of seven major media companies and other local institutions producing I Can’t Afford to Live Here, a collaborative reporting project focused on solutions to the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte. It is a project of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, which is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. See all of our reporting at charlottejournalism.org.
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