The Durham Rent Relief Program provides up to 18 months of rental and utility assistance to City of Durham residents who have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistance is available on a first-come, first-served basis until funding runs out. Renters who received assistance from the Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program can also receive assistance from this program, though they cannot receive more than a combined total of 18 months of assistance from both programs.
The Durham Rent Relief Program is funded by the City of Durham and administered by Legal Aid of North Carolina. The goal of the program is to help contain the spread of COVID-19 by keeping Durham residents in their homes, off the streets, and out of shelters and other crowded living arrangements. The program uses federal funds provided by the American Rescue Plan, a federal law passed in March 2021. The Durham Rent Relief Program is separate from the Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was administered by Durham County in 2021. That program used funds from a different federal law, which passed in 2020.
You ARE eligible if ...
You are eligible to receive assistance through this program if all of the following are true:
Immigrants of any status can receive assistance through the program.
You ARE NOT eligible if ...
You are not eligible to receive assistance through this program if any of the following are true:
1 member = $48,400
2 members = $55,300
3 members = $62,200
4 members = $69,100
5 members = $74,650
6 members = $80,200
7 members = $85,700
8 members = $91,250
Length of assistance
Use of funds
The program can cover the rent listed on the lease, including any fees or utilities included in the rent. The funds cannot be used to pay for tenant damages or utilities outside of those included in the rent.
The program can only cover past-due rent from March 13, 2020, or later, up to the 18-month limit. This can include:
If the rent on the lease is more than 150% of the fair market rent for a unit with its number of bedrooms (see list below), the amount of assistance will be capped at the 150% limit.
150% of fair market rent
Public housing and vouchers
The program will cover the renter’s portion of rent and reasonable late fees for households:
Hotels and motels
The program will cover hotel and motel costs for applicants who can verify that they have lived in the hotel or motel for at least 60 days.
The program will cover security deposits if impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic forced the renter to move. For example: A renter lost income during the pandemic, so they had to move to a more affordable home.
The program will cover utilities included with rent and the following essential utilities, and reasonable late fees if they are billed separately from rent.
The program will cover internet, including past-due internet expenses from March 13, 2020, or later.
The program will not cover the following fees:
Valid government identification, which includes driver’s licenses, state ID cards, Social Security cards, passports, or other forms of government identification. Expired IDs can be used.
Renters must complete and electronically sign a form stating that they have experienced financial hardship resulting directly or indirectly from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Renters must complete and electronically sign a form documenting housing instability, which can include a risk of homelessness.
Income can be documented by one of the following methods:
Residents of certain zip codes in the City of Durham are eligible for program assistance based on the median income of the zip code where they live. Eligible zip codes include:
Means-tested program eligibility
The renter can upload an award letter from 2021 stating that the renter or a member of their household was eligible for a means-tested program. Eligible means-tested programs include:
The renter can submit documentation of household income, which can include a 2020 federal tax form, pay stubs for the past 30 days, self-employment ledger, Social Security check, a letter from their employer documenting their pay and frequency of paychecks, or an unemployment compensation letter.
As a last resort only, if the renter cannot document their income by one of the above methods, the renter can document their income solely through self-attestation, meaning they must complete and electronically sign a form stating their household income.
Renters must prove that they live at the address they are requesting assistance for. They can do this by one of the following methods.
Renters must prove their monthly rent by providing one of the following:
Renters must prove the amount of their past-due rent by providing written documentation from their landlord or by providing legal papers/eviction papers given to you by the sheriff, known as an eviction complaint. Eviction complaints contain the amount of past-due rent owed.
Landlords must complete the landlord application and upload a W-9 Request for Taxpayer Number and Certification.
A renter must prove that they are responsible for paying utilities by providing one of the following:
If the sheriff has given you legal papers/eviction papers, known as an eviction complaint, please be prepared to provide a copy of them with your application.
Click here to apply online (for renters and landlords). The application will open in a new window.
Get help applying
Applicants who need help applying can:
Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis and will be accepted until funding runs out. Once an application is submitted, it will be assigned to a rent relief specialist for review. If the application is incomplete, the specialist will attempt to contact the applicant by email, phone and text. The applicant will have 10 days to provide the missing information. Once the application is complete, the rent relief specialist will approve or deny the application. If approved, payments by electronic funds transfer will be made within 72 hours and payments by check will be made within 5-10 business days.
Renters who are found ineligible to receive assistance have five calendar days to submit an appeal. The five-day period begins when the renter receives an email that tells them they are ineligible to receive assistance.
The materials contained on this website are for information and educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you need legal help, you can contact Legal Aid of North Carolina or a private attorney regarding your situation.