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Rent, Eviction Prevention, & Utilities Assistance

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Rent, Mortgage & Utility Assistance

Durham County has paused the Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program, but plans to renew it at some point. The program is for families whose household incomes do not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income for the county where they live, and are obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling and meet both of the following conditions:

  1. Financial Assistance Eligibility
    • Has either qualified for unemployment benefits;
    • Experienced a reduction in household income;
    • Incurred significant costs, or
    • Experienced other financial hardship

    All of the above must be directly or indirectly, as a result of the COVID-19 emergency

  2. Can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, by providing documentation of total past due amounts such as a past due utility, rent, or eviction notice, or documentation of unsafe or unhealthy living conditions

To apply for the program when it reopens, visit this website: CARES Login Page – Cares (

Eviction Support

  • Legal Aid of North Carolina Housing Helpline to provide legal assistance for free to North Carolina residents facing eviction or other housing issues. Operates toll-free from 8:30 a .m. to 1:30 p .m . Monday through Thursday at 1-877-201-6426.
  • Eviction Advice Clinic Duke Civil Justice Center and Legal Aid NC will be available from 9:00-12:00 every Friday through the Spring 2022 semester inside the Durham County Courthouse in the conference room in the community offices on the 2nd floor.
  • Appeal your eviction. You don’t have to move immediately just because your landlord gives you notice to vacate. Visit the court clerk within 10 days of your eviction hearing to file an appeal and buy yourself time to prepare. In some cases, court costs for filing the appeal can be waived by filling out a Petition to File as an Indigent. For more info visit
  • Get all payment agreements and maintenance requests in writing. Many landlords will verbally agree to payment plans for tenants who are behind on rent, only to take their payments and evict anyway. Communicate via email when possible.
  • Contact Durham County Court Support ( Durham County Court Support are regular community members who try to help by answering questions, providing moving help, giving emotional support, and more.

The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)

Durham residents in need of heating bill assistance can now apply for help through the Department of Social Services. Applications are being accepted Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. in Lobby #27 of the Health and Human Services Building located at 414 E. Main St. Walk ins are welcome but appointments are preferred. Please call 919-560-8000 for additional information and assistance. To make a virtual appointment call: (919) 560-8192. Durham residents can also apply online. Application period is only between December 1 and March 31st for a given year.

Legal Support

Legal Aid NC has many legal resource documents on your rights during COVID-19. These include items on education, exceptional children’s services, housing, employment, and social security.

Water Bill Support

The City Water Hardship Fund is part of a program administered by the Durham County Department of Social Services to help residents pay their past-due water bills. It cannot be used for penalties and fees.

Through a simple online process, you can apply for up to $240 in assistance per year if you are having a documented hardship, have past-due bills, and are in danger of having your water cut off. If you think you might qualify, please complete the Water Hardship Fund application form. If contacted, you may be asked to provide identification, proof of income, a copy of your water bill, and other information.

Page updated April 11, 2022