Gov. Cooper urges Hurricane Florence victims to sign up for STEP

The Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program provides temporary repairs at no cost to homeowners

Gov. Cooper urges Hurricane Florence victims to sign up for STEP
Governor Roy Cooper is urging homeowners eligible for the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program to sign up no later than Jan. 17. (Source: WECT)

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Governor Roy Cooper is urging residents who are eligible for the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power program to sign up no later than Thursday, Jan. 17, according to a news release sent from the Governor’s office Tuesday.

The STEP program provides temporary, partial repairs at no cost to homeowners so Hurricane Florence survivors can return to and remain in their homes while longer-term repairs continue.

“We want to make sure that every homeowner who may qualify for this repair program has the opportunity to do so, but time is running out to sign up,” Gov. Cooper said. "If you've been notified that the STEP program may be a good fit to help your family recover from Hurricane Florence, I urge you to apply now."

What is STEP?

The STEP program is designed to help homeowners who sustained approximately $17,000 in damages or less. The program provides rapid, partial repairs to make homes livable and allow survivors to leave temporary housing. The program does not restore homes to pre-storm condition. It’s available in Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Robeson counties.

How can I apply?

Eligible homeowners must sign a Right of Entry form by Jan. 17. Once the form is completed, an inspector will visit and assess damages. For homes that are deemed eligible, an inspector will develop a repair plan. Eligible homeowners may also visit the application portal or call (833) 257-1100 Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

What kind of repairs will be made?

The repairs will be made by a volunteer disaster relief group -- such as NC Baptists on Mission and United Methodist Committee on Relief -- or by a professional contractor managed by the state.

The kinds of repairs made through the STEP program include:

  • Exterior repairs include secure and watertight doors, windows and roof, and safe entrances.
  • The home’s electrical and plumbing systems will be made safe and operational.
  • Interior repairs include a functional kitchen – including a base cabinet under the sink, a surface to prepare food,, basic refrigeration and cooking surfaces, a working sink – and a functional, private bathroom.

"People pushed out of their homes by Hurricane Florence long to return home, and for eligible homeowners the STEP program can help them get home sooner,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “Returning home puts families back in their own communities and closer to work and school as they put their lives back together after this devastating storm.”

More information about the STEP program is available here.

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