Rental assistance is up for grabs through the Georgia Rental Assistance Program, both for landlords and tenants. Last week Georgia Department of Community Affairs Deputy Commissioner of Housing Tonya Curry told WBHF that so far 89 households in Bartow County have been served by the program, which aims to bring past-due rent and utility payments current up to 18 months. This equals about $595,283 paid out in the county alone. However, a Surgo Ventures study found that an estimated 2,350 households in the area are behind on rent.
Curry urged those remaining in need to apply online at GeorgiaRentalAssistance.ga.gov, as these funds won’t be automatically disbursed into bank accounts like the Advance Child Tax Credit or Economic Impact Payments.
There was initially a cap on the amount of funds a household could receive through the program. However, this month the cap was removed, and now the funding can be used for rental arrears and utility back payments up to 18 months.
Curry specified that need is calculated based on a household or individual’s current financial need, as opposed to what is indicated on their tax returns.
Funds tend to be disbursed to landlords. However, if the landlord is not responsive, the DCA is able to pay tenants directly.
For the application, Curry said that users will need documents such as proof of rental agreement and past-due notices.
For any further questions, visit the FAQ page on the Georgia Rental Assistance website. Curry said that tenants can also contact Georgia Legal Services if they are at risk for eviction.
“We know that there’s an eviction moratorium in place, but that does not keep a landlord from initiating an eviction proceeding,” Curry explained. “It just stays the eviction from being processed in the court system. So if someone is starting to receive eviction notices or anything like that, they can also reach out to the Georgia Legal Aid program in their area, because we have contracted with them to help those residents that are headed into a legal process.”
For paper applications and further assistance call 833-827-RENT.