Cumberland County introduces new rent assistance program

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – More help is on the way for Cumberland County families struggling to pay their rent.

Cherry-Lynn Boone is a single mom of four. She has lived in her Cumberland County home for two years and said she never had a problem paying rent — until this past year.

She said she was training for a new job when COVID-19 restrictions put her out of work.

“I’ve never been down this low before since I became a mom,” Boone said. “I’ve gone through a lot of things, but the fear of me and my kids being put out of our house is something I’ve never had to worry about, and right now I’m worried about that.”

Boone was approved for rental assistance with the state’s HOPE program, but she said the payments to her landlord were delayed for months.

She’s hoping she will qualify for a new rental assistance program in the works right now with the City of Fayetteville and Cumberland County.

“We spend a lot of money on things that can wait, but this can’t wait,” said Cumberland County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charles Evans. “We want everybody to live a nice, decent quality of life, and this is one way to do it.”

Between the two entities, more than $9 million in federal COVID-19 relief money will be available for rental assistance, administered by Innovative Emergency Management.

“When I became a mom, I signed up to do everything that it took to make sure that my kids are taken care of,” Boone said. “Sometimes situations aren’t ideal and everybody does need help sometimes.”

The details are still being worked out regarding who will qualify and what the application process will require.

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