Orange County NC Website
1 <br /> ORANGE COUNTY <br /> BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS <br /> ACTION AGENDA ITEM ABSTRACT <br /> Meeting Date: November 5, 2020 <br /> Action Agenda <br /> Item No. 6-c <br /> SUBJECT: Emergency Housing Assistance Program Update and Request for Supplemental <br /> Funding <br /> DEPARTMENT: Housing and Community <br /> Development <br /> ATTACHMENT(S): INFORMATION CONTACT: <br /> Attachment 1: Summary of Emergency Emila Sutton, Director, Housing and <br /> Housing Assistance (EHA) Community Development, (919) 245-2490 <br /> Fund <br /> Attachment 2: OCHCD COVID-19 Response <br /> Summary — September <br /> Attachment 3: EHA Partner Testimonials <br /> PURPOSE: (1) To update the Board of Commissioners on the work of the Housing Department <br /> in pandemic response through the Emergency Housing Assistance fund, and (2) to request the <br /> transfer of $100,000 from the Local Rent Supplement Program to the Emergency Housing <br /> Assistance program to provide additional funding for ongoing eviction prevention activities that <br /> are not eligible costs under other programs. <br /> BACKGROUND: In March 2020, at the onset of the public health crisis caused by COVID-19 <br /> and seeing the need for increased housing assistance for those impacted, the Orange County <br /> Housing Department and staff from the Towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough began <br /> discussions on how to combine our existing eviction prevention and housing stabilization efforts <br /> to best serve residents. Staff from all jurisdictions agreed that combining existing efforts into one <br /> program, with one application process and singular policies, would improve provision of <br /> emergency housing assistance throughout the County. The Emergency Housing Assistance <br /> program (or "EHA") was created as a result, and Orange County began administering eviction <br /> prevention and housing stabilization funds on behalf of the Towns as well as the County (see <br /> Attachment 1). At the same time, the Department also began managing Coordinated Entry for <br /> the community — providing an efficient and evidence-based method of serving those <br /> experiencing a housing crisis. The Department renamed and rebranded Coordinated Entry as <br /> the "Housing Helpline" so residents more readily understood how assistance could be <br /> requested. Both of these programs saw an exponential increase in demand quickly after the <br /> pandemic hit, and both programs scaled up quickly in order to meet the increasing demand (see <br /> Attachment 2). <br /> One way the program successfully and quickly scaled up to meet the need was by requesting <br /> assistance and partnership from local non-profits. Several organizations stepped up to help, to <br />