Last week, Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle announced that the town was awarded $900,000 dollars in emergency housing assistance. This is the maximum grant amount awarded by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Under the CARES Act, Congress provided $5-billion-dollars to state and local governments to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the spread of COVID-19. Under the Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG, Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle said the town is set to receive more emergency aid during a critical time.

“This is really a big deal for the town,” Lavelle said. “What happened here was we regularly receive what are called CDBG funds from the state to go towards assistance for housing. So, this is a pot of money that has been made available through CDBG funds but specifically for coronavirus-related expenses.”

According to the town, at least 70 percent of every grant must be expended for activities that provide housing, a permanent job, a public service, or access to new or significantly improved infrastructure. The remaining 30 percent may be used to eliminate inhumane living conditions.

Lavelle said these awarded grants will directly support the needs of low and moderate-income residents.

“This is so, so important,” Lavelle said. “It goes directly towards emergency housing assistance and it will help people who need help with their rent, their utilities and help them put off evictions and avoid homelessness.”

This past year, the Carrboro Town Council allocated more than $300,000 dollars in CARES Act funding to support emergency housing assistance. The town will continue to partner with Orange County’s Emergency Housing Assistance Program, or EHA, to administer the awarded funds.

Lavelle said assistance will be given based on a resident’s income and need.

“It’s awarded in a very metric-related way in terms of looking at the income of the households that are requesting it,” Lavelle said. “There is a cap on the money but it’s high enough that it will really help families significantly through a couple of months.”

To date, Orange County’s EHA program has assisted more than 1,000 low-income households, including nearly 250 in Carrboro.

To learn more about the county’s emergency housing assistance programs, click here. does not charge subscription fees. You can support local journalism and our mission to serve the community. Contribute today – every single dollar matters.