CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New unemployment numbers show Americans filing for first time unemployment have fallen for three weeks in a row.
Yet families aren't safe from eviction and some just can't pay their utility bills.
Governor Cooper announced the start of a new program aimed to help North Carolinian's get rent and utility assistance.
The N.C. Hope Program will provide $117 million dollars to renters dealing with financial hardships.
It's the grim reality renters are facing with moratoriums running out and housing courts open.
"Housing instability is really impacting all aspects of our community," Chief Marketing Officer for Crisis Assistance Ministry Liana Humphrey said.
A Belmont resident is now in limbo.
"Our waters been disconnected," David Featherstone said.
Featherstone said he hasn't been able to pay his water bill for the past three months. As covid appeared, his income disappeared.
"When they're shutting off people's water who are in the middle of a pandemic where you can't even wash your hands in your own home. They're only thinking about the bottom line and their dollar," Featherstone said.
The NC Hope Program requires renters to have a current household income that is at most 80% of the area median income and are behind on rent and utilities when applying.
A Charlotte Mecklenburg report shows demand for rental assistance increased by 907% in the first two months of the pandemic.
Liana Humphrey with Crisis Assistance Ministry says they're seeing a need in places you'd never expect.
"We're seeing a big increase in requests from neighborhoods across Charlotte that you normally wouldn't think of needing financial assistance like Ballantyne, south park, Huntersville," Humphrey said. "Don't wait to seek assistance."