COVID-19 UPDATE: West Virginia Homeowners Rescue Program now accepting applications, Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program still open


Gov. Justice congratulates Glenville State Lady Pioneers on winning National Championship
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing today to update the public on the state’s latest pandemic response and vaccine distribution efforts.
During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that the new West Virginia Homeowners Rescue Program is now open and accepting applications from West Virginia homeowners who have experienced a financial hardship related to COVID-19.

“This is a program that we want you to take advantage of because it will bring a lot of money into West Virginia and really help our state and our people,” Gov. Justice said.
The program can provide assistance for past-due mortgage payments of up to $15,000, past-due utilities of up to $2,500, past-due insurance, property tax payments, and other housing costs of up to $5,000, $300 in internet assistance, and $500 of assistance on certain downpayment loans.

The program is not just for people that have a mortgage loan on their home. Someone that owns their home outright, but who may have fallen behind on property taxes can also get some benefit from this program, among other circumstances.

To be eligible, applicants’ income cannot exceed 150% of the area median income for their county. Their primary residence must be in West Virginia, and can be a single family home, a condo, a townhouse, a mobile home, or a duplex. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate a COVID-related hardship, such as a decrease in income, and/or an increase in expenses related to the pandemic.

The Governor was joined by Erica Boggess, Director of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF), which is administering the program.
“You can apply on your computer, a tablet, smartphone, or you can request a paper application if that’s what you need,” Boggess said. “I want to encourage everybody to go to our website and read about the program. It tells you all the qualifications, all the ways you can get help, and it provides a list of the documents you might need to fill out your application to speed up the process.”

More information:
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice and Boggess offered a reminder that the Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program remains open as well.

The program provides tax-free financial assistance to renters who have lost their job, had their income reduced or suffered a significant cost or financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Landlords with tenants who are struggling with rent or utility payments due to COVID-19 may also find that their tenants are eligible for rental assistance, with rental payments sent directly to landlords.

More information:
Additionally Tuesday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia’s County Alert Map once again features all 55 of the state’s counties in the Green category.

The Governor went on to report that there are now just 376 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; the lowest daily active case total since the first months of the pandemic.

Over the past two months, total active cases have decreased by more than 98%.

Since nearing peak capacity in early February, COVID-related hospitalizations in West Virginia are down 85%, ICU patients are down 79%, and patients on ventilators are down 83%.

Still, after reading the ages and locations of another 55 individuals who have passed away from COVID-19 since Friday last week – 46 of whom were part of the DHHR’s ongoing data reconciliation with official death certificates – Gov. Justice continued to urge West Virginians to get vaccinated and boosted.

Initial series vaccinations are available for free for all West Virginians ages 5 and older and booster shots are authorized and encouraged for all West Virginians ages 12 and older. Read more about vaccines and boosters at and at
Gov. Justice also took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to congratulate the Glenville State University Lady Pioneers basketball team for winning the NCAA Division-II National Championship, defeating Western Washington University on Friday last week by a final score of 85-72.

Not only did the win mark GSU’s first national championship in any sport, but it also marked the first time that any college or university from West Virginia has won a NCAA national championship in basketball.

The Lady Pioneers finished the season with the best record in program history at 35-1. Along the way, GSU boasted the best offense in the nation by a wide margin, scoring an average of 95.5 points per game; 13 points more than any other team in Division-II.

Their run of dominance continued in the National Championship Tournament. The Lady Pioneers broke the all-time NCAA D-II Tournament scoring record, putting up 524 points in six games. Their average margin of victory in the tournament was over 25 points per game.

Glenville State’s head coach, Kim Stephens, a graduate of Parkersburg South High School and an alumna of GSU herself, was named NCAA D-II Women’s Basketball National Coach of the Year. Her overall career record as coach at GSU is now 158-21 (88.3%).

“I’m really proud of Kim and I’m proud of all the great athletes on the team. They are the best of the best,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re going to have them down to Charleston to have lunch at the Governor’s Mansion real soon so we can congratulate them and celebrate this incredible achievement in person.”
Gov. Justice also took time to revisit his announcement Monday that Mountain Shore Properties LLC, a company led by Fayetteville-native and national real estate developer Charlie Wendell, will be undertaking a $15 million project to redevelop three former Fayetteville schoolhouses into a boutique hotel, modern apartments, and townhomes.

“This is something incredible that’s happening in our state,” Gov. Justice said during Tuesday’s briefing. “Fayetteville is really beginning to boom. It’s going to bring great job opportunities, and this project is a big part of that exciting future.”

Earlier this month, Mountain Shore Properties began negotiations to acquire the former Fayetteville High School, Middle School, and Elementary School for this project, which will fuel the growing tourism economy, as well as address some of the current housing shortages in the area.

The project will convert the former high school and the adjacent middle school building into a 45-50 room boutique hotel. The neighboring elementary school building will be transformed into 20-24 apartment units, while retaining the former gymnasium as a community facility for the citizens of Fayetteville. The plan also includes townhome development. The project is expected to create 30 construction jobs and 25 permanent jobs once the construction is complete.

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