The State of Georgia will begin offering rental assistance thanks to funds from the federal government stimulus package.
Governor Kemp’s office made the announce Friday, saying the state received more than $552 million through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was allocated $25 billion for those struggling during the pandemic. The funds were made available in hopes of providing relief to both landlords and tenants who are behind on rent and utility payments due tot he coronavirus pandemic.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs will be responsible for the State of Georgia Rental Assistance Program (GRA). All of the guidelines, which will be determined by the U.S. Treasury, are still being ironed out, but payments will be made on behalf of the tenant directly to the landlords and utility service providers.
The state says payments generally may not exceed 12 months, but some households may qualify for a total of 15 months under certain circumstances.
“The effects of COVID-19 have hit many Georgians hard financially,” Governor Kemp said Friday. “In addition to protecting lives, we have to protect livelihoods so that Georgians can continue to have economic opportunity. I am pleased to be able to provide this rental relief to renters and landlords who have been impacted the most.”
In general, households meeting all following criteria will be eligible:
- Qualified for unemployment benefits or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19; and
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), with priority given to: 1) households below 50 percent of the AMI, or 2) households with one or more individuals who have been unemployed 90 days or longer at the time of application
The CDC Eviction Moratorium was extended through March 31, but only means that no one should be evicted solely for non-payment of rent until that date. Other conditions for eviction still apply.