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COVID Relief Funding: Commissioners Approve Positions for $7.8M Grant Administration

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners took an important step toward helping distribute millions of dollars in COVID-19 emergency funds. During their meeting on Feb. 2, Commissioners unanimously approved hiring four grant-funded positions to help administer the $7.8 million dollars of federal money. Up to 10% of the grant money may be used for administration purposes, and those positions will supplement County Health and Human Services in accepting applications, determining eligibility, and other procedural logistics.

Buncombe County is still waiting on guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury on how the money can be distributed. Once federal direction becomes clear, the money will be used exclusively for rent and utilities, including back payments. There is no cap on how much a household may receive. However, it’s important to note that mortgages and broadband internet are not eligible expenses under federal guidelines.

“This will help people who have a lot of stress associated with paying bills, past bills, and housing and other costs,” exclaimed Commission Chair Brownie Newman.

To be eligible:

  • You must be under 80% of the area median income (about $57,000 for a family of four).
     
  • Your finances need to be directly affected by the pandemic.
     
  • Please note, priority will be given to people under 50% of the area median income or those who have been unemployed for 90 days or more.

As soon as the application process is open, Buncombe County will alert the media and post information on its website.