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May 12, 2021

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COVID Housing Relief Program available for Buncombe residents

If you have current or former team members who continue to struggle financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, here's information to pass along: Buncombe County has $13 million available in the COVID Housing Relief Fund.

This program provides financial assistance for housing and utilities to Buncombe residents who have lost income due to the pandemic. Eligible individuals may qualify for past-due rent, mortgage, and utility payments as well as assistance with current or future payments. Most payments are made directly to vendors (landlords/mortgage companies/utility providers) and not to the individual.

Individuals may apply more than once if additional support is needed. The program does not cover payments for phone, cable, credit card, hotel, insurance, or anything duplicating other federal assistance programs.


More on COVID Housing Relief Fund


County relief programs help individuals get back on their feet; video in English & Spanish explains

Even for those who don’t think they are eligible, there are funds and services available for residents of Buncombe County for COVID-19 relief, housing assistance, food, medical, childcare, employment, and more. "Let’s Talk: Getting Back on Your Feet with Economic Services" is a video available in English and Spanish that provides an overview of available programs. Those needing assistance can also call the Economic Services team at (828) 250-5500.


View 'Getting Back on Your Feet' [English + Spanish]
Download Economic Services Flyer


Emergency Broadband Benefit program available to pay for internet costs; application window now open

A new federal program for those who are having trouble logging on for work, school, and other activities opens for applications today, May 12. The Emergency Broadband Benefit program (and a companion program, Lifeline) are not administered locally so individuals should apply directly for each program by accessing the links below.


Download Emergency Broadband Poster [English + Spanish]


Vaccine Update: Where & how to get free vaccines

As of May 11, about 48 percent of Buncombe residents had received at least one vaccine against COVID-19. The goal is 66 percent in order for our community to reach herd immunity.


Info on Free Walk-in COVID Vaccine Locations [English + Spanish]



Homelessness in Asheville: Town hall to discuss what is being done, how businesses can help

Homelessness is a critical issue across the country and in our community. On Thursday, May 13, 11 a.m. to 12 noon, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce will host a virtual town hall where City leaders and organizations will address this complex issue, including:

  • Overall approach the City is taking to address homelessness
  • How business people can respond to individuals experiencing homelessness
  • What businesses can do to help

Panelists include:

  • Cathy Ball, Assistant City Manager for the City of Asheville
  • Emily Ball, Homeless Services System Performance Lead, for the City of Asheville’s Community Development Department
  • Blake Fagan, M.D., Mountain Area Health Education Center Chief Education Officer and leader of MAHEC's office-based opioid treatment services
  • Sue Polston, Executive Director of Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness


Register for May 13 Town Hall


Get latest info on funding relief options from Mountain BizWorks

For the latest information on federal funding options, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (SVOG), Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), and the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), tune in for a weekly webinar hosted by Mountain BizWorks, Tuesdays at 3 p.m. The next hour-long event is May 18.


Register for May 18 Webinar


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