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Martin Co. receives almost $1 million for COVID-19 assistance

(Photo: Martin County Government via Facebook)
(Photo: Martin County Government via Facebook)
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One eastern North Carolina county has received nearly $1 million in grant funds to help residents with utility and rent payments amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Martin County applied for NC Commerce's Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus back in September and was recently notified that the county will receive $900,000.

Officials say the funds will primarily be used to provide up to six months of emergency utility payments, as well as emergency rent and mortgage payments in an effort to prevent eviction and homelessness.

“The CDBG-CV grant is a new program, and Martin County and its partners worked diligently to prepare and submit the grant application expeditiously," said County Manager David Bone. "We are tremendously thankful for this grant award. We are excited about the resources the grant will provide to help low and moderate income citizens in dealing with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic”, said County Manager David Bone.

The Choanoke Area Development Association will partner in the county's program, leaders say.

“This initiative, which is a new source of funding, is essential to impacting the looming housing crisis that will occur when moratoriums and forbearances for mortgages, rental payments and utilities expires," said CADA Executive Director Sallie Surface. "The grant will help prevent increased homelessness, foreclosures, and bankruptcies. It will help our children have a safe place to learn and residents to be safely housed. The grant will also help boost the county’s economy, since most payments made on behalf of residents will be to local utilities and businesses that have also been hurt by the pandemic”.

Officials say they will contract with an experienced CDBG Grant Administrator once the agreement is received and executed; the administrator will work with CADA for the income verification requirements. They add that the payments and the number of households assisted by the funding are contingent upon the following:

  • Eligibility determination from NC Commerce,
  • Income verification of each household,
  • Verification of no duplication of benefits.

According to county leaders, a cap will be established in order to help as many people as possible, and more assistance will be intended for very low- and low-income households.

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