Over $1M in Mortgage and Online Help Paid, NHC Closes on Application Deadline

The New Hanover County Homeowner’s Assistance and Broadband Assistance Program closes applications on July 31. (Port City Daily / File)

NEW HANNOVER COUNTY – Two programs that have opened to help eligible individuals pay their bills in light of Covid-19’s financial hardship are nearing their weekend deadline.

Both the New Hanover County Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) and Broadband Assistance, funded by the US Bailout Act, will close applications on July 31. Both opened last fall.

HAP provides financial assistance to eligible homeowners who cannot afford their mortgage and other bills. The funds cover defaults, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and homeowner homelessness.

According to the state memo sent by the county on July 1, the program processed 621 applications — 304 were approved, 195 were rejected, 92 were withdrawn, 27 were duplicated, and three were pending. The total amount pledged or spent was $1,358,738 of the $2 million allocated.

Priority is given to families earning 50% or less of the median income – as well as families who have had unemployed members in the last 90 days before applying.

Accredited applicants get paid for:

  • Paying the homeowner’s mortgage
  • Homeowner utilities (electricity, gas, water)
  • Homeowner’s insurance (including flood and wind)
  • Homeowners Association Fees or Franchises
  • Internet service for the homeowner (including broadband)
  • Help pay back property taxes

In addition, the county’s Broadband Assistance Program remains open through Sunday, and offers up to $30 per month for internet service for eligible families. Providers are either AT&T or Spectrum, selected by the county.

To qualify, families must receive Medicaid, SNAP, Work First, and school-age childcare benefits, ages 3 to 18.

An internal memo from the beginning of July indicated that 697 applications had been received in New Hanover, although 185 were active or had been disconnected. Families who already have internet are not eligible for the program.

The program is overseen by the district’s IT and social services teams, which also conduct audits every six months to ensure applicants continue to meet the requirements.

According to the memo, $162,000 of the $1.3 million program was committed by July 1.

Applications close for both programs July 31; They can be reached here for mortgage help and here for broadband help.

Families without Internet access can also apply by calling the Homeowners Assistance Program call center at 910-798-3505 or Broadband Assistance at 910-798-7407.


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