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Monday, May 27, 2024

City to vote on $420,000 contract to Good Shepherd for emergency rental and utility assistance

If Council approves the vote, the Good Shepherd Center will receive a $420,000 contract to provide emergency assistance rent and utility payments for low-and-medium income residents affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

WILMINGTON — Next week City Council will vote on granting a $420,000 contract to the Good Shepherd Center for emergency rental and utility assistance for low-income households affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, funded by the federal CARES Act. 

The contract would take up a majority of coronavirus relief funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), funds that total $612,032. 

The contract would entail a community-wide outreach program to identify prospective recipients, application review, case management to determine eligibility, and counseling and referrals to improve people’s housing stability and self-sufficiency. Under the conditions of the contract, Good Shepherd would make direct payments to landlords and utility providers, not exceeding three months of payments. 

The city published a Request for Proposals on June 8 and received responses on June 26, which were scored on the basis of organizational capacity, experience, fiscal stability, budget reasonableness, outreach planning, and community partnerships. Good Shepherd’s proposal received a total score of 99, compared to two other proposals that each scored a 69.5 and 71.5. 

Allocation of the funding is set at $370,000 for emergency assistance payments and $50,000 for administrative costs. If Council approves the vote, the contract would last a year or until all funds are spent.

The vote comes after City Council adopted an amendment to the city’s 2019-2020 Annual Action Plan to allocate the $612,032 in CARES Act funds that were awarded to the city as part of President Trump’s signing of the act on March 27. The funds are intended to be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The funds can only be used for activities that fall under CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) eligibility and that benefit low-to-moderate income individuals. Eligible activities approved by Council include: 

  • Emergency assistance (rent and utility payments);
  • Educational services to at-risk children at risk of learning loss;
  • Provision of food, supplies, and services to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to low-income persons with limited or no access to these resources.

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