Submitted by S. Patterson on Tue, 05/03/2022 - 4:35pm
Millions of dollars in help are available, and yet thousands of Wake County renters remain in limbo. Program serves as a housing assistance program and has helped thousands of people affected by the pandemic cover rent and utilities While the program stopped taking applications on Jan. 24, the system is so backlogged that only half of the money allocated has been paid out to renters. Contractor Telamon has distributed $37.5 million of the $67.6 million in COVID relief funds. County data shows the program has paid 4,900 renters and there are 3,100 still waiting for help. The county denied some 2,6000 applicants. Some people have waited more than six months for funds.
Bell said Telamon is working with Wake County and the city of Raleigh to modify policies and procedures to distribute the money quicker. He acknowledged the need to make sure the quality of the program, accounting and record keeping were not jeopardized. In January, an email mistake by Telamon put personal information at risk for people in Wake County. A case worker for the company sent an email that was supposed to be private but was not. Telamon tried to correct its mistake, recalling the original email, but the damage was already done.
Telamon is prioritizing renters who have received eviction notices and those with the lowest income. The company says it’s going to take until July to process all the applications. Telamon’s call center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays at 919-899-9911. Telemon’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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