On Monday, April 19, 2021 the Pitt County Department of Social Services (DSS) will begin to accept applications requesting emergency utility payment assistance to pay past-due utility bills of individuals who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Utility customers are encouraged to check their eligibility and apply by visiting: www.PittCountyNC.gov/utilities Applicants without internet access may call 252-751-9900.
To best facilitate assistance to those most in need, eligibility is limited to applicants whose utilities have been shut off or are scheduled to be shut off due to non-payment two weeks past their due date. DSS Director Jan Elliott states, “There are a lot of people who are struggling because of the pandemic. We want to be sure that we help the people who are most in need.” Eligibility is also based on household size and current income. A household of two people must have had a total income of $3,558 or less during the previous calendar month and a household of four people must have had a total income of $4,446 or less during the previous calendar month.
Pitt County has also been approved for grant funds to assist tenants who have been unable to pay rent due to the pandemic and who are currently in the eviction process. “The extension of the federal government’s eviction moratorium through June has been helpful for many tenants,” Ms. Elliott notes. Tenants who are entitled to the moratorium’s protection may complete the Eviction Protection Declaration form and give it to their landlords. The form can be downloaded from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/evictiondeclare_d508.pdf.It can also be obtained at the DSS front desks in the County Office Building, 1717 West Fifth Street, and the Human Services Center, 203 Government Circle in Greenville.
Ms. Elliott adds, “We are currently working with some landlords and tenants, in the order in which their cases have been filed. We are also cooperating with other eviction prevention programs that are being offered by the City of Greenville, Greene Lamp Community Action Program, Trillium Health Resources, and the Community Crossroads Center. Beginning in July, any tenant who is in the eviction process may apply for our program.”