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Housing & Utilities

For the most up-to-date information about resources to help you and your family through this challenging time, please register for our enews.

Update: 5/15/20 - Mortgage Help

Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium Extended to Enterprise-backed Mortgages

As of 5/14/20 - Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are extending their moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least June 30, 2020.  The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. The current moratorium was set to expire on May 17th. Read more here.

To understand the protections and assistance the government is offering people having trouble paying their mortgage, please visit the joint Department of Housing and Urban Development, FHFA, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website here.

Update: 3/31/20 - Utility Assistance

Utility Assistance and Help During COVID-19

Find Local Resources through 2-1-1

  • United Way hosts a free information and referral service through their 2-1-1 program. If you need financial assistance to pay utilities, they can direct you to the best local agency to help. If you have an (828) area code, simply dial 211 on your phone to be connected to a representative that can assist you or visit the 211 website here

Governor Cooper Signs Executive Order Mandating Rules for Utility Companies

  • Effective, March 31, 2020 electric, gas, water, and wastewater services are prohibited from disconnecting utilities for non-payment for the next 60 days.
  • This order directs utility companies to give residential customers 6 months to pay outstanding bills and prohibits the companies from charging collection fees, penalties, or interest for late payments.
  • Read more about it here

Duke and PSNC/Dominion Energy

  • Duke is suspending disconnections and waiving late fees for their customers.
  • PSNC/Dominion Energy will not be shutting off your power or gas for nonpayment and they are currently reconnecting residential customers whose services were shut off.
  • Even though utilities are not being disconnected, this does not mean providers are forgiving the bill. Pay what you are able, when you are able, to avoid building up a large bill that is difficult to pay off after the crisis passes.

City of Asheville Water and Trash

  • City of Asheville is suspending all water account disconnections. This is not a cancellation of bills; so pay what you are able when you are able or call 828-251-1122 to set up a payment plan.
  • If you buy water from your landlord and your landlord disconnects your water, contact Pisgah Legal Services or call 1-800-489-6144 for help.

Cell Phone and Internet Providers

  • Many phone and internet providers are waiving late fees and suspending disconnections during COVID-19. To find out what your provider is offering, Google: The name of your provider and COVID (such as Verizon and COVID).

Find Internet in Your Area

The North Carolina Department of Information Technology has compiled a list of new and existing free or affordable service offerings statewide here. To find out what service providers are available in your area and a list of their services, use their Interactive Map:

  • Enter your home street address in the address field and click the magnifying glass.
  • After clicking search, directly under the search box, a list of providers in your area will appear. You can contact these companies to get internet set up if you don’t have it.
  • To see what free or low-cost services are provided by those companies, scroll through the list of company names at the bottom of the page until you find the company that services your area.   

Update: 3/26/20 - Mortgage Help

Mortgage Support During COVID-19

  • Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD (which backs the majority of mortgages in our country and includes reverse mortgages) have announced that all foreclosures are on a moratorium for 60 days. Additionally, they are providing forbearances to borrowers impacted by the coronavirus. Forbearance could allow for a mortgage payment to be suspended for up to 12 months. Here’s more info.
  • In Buncombe County, foreclosure hearings are being automatically continued for 30 days and another continuance will likely take place.
  • Worried about your mortgage payment? First, go to your mortgage servicer’s website to see what programs are currently available and their response to COVID-19. If you don’t see what you need, call your servicer’s phone number located on your monthly loan statement.
  • Check out this handout we created called: Forebearance: What to Know and What to Ask Your Lender.
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