[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text dp_text_size=”size-4″]DeKalb County households staring down the barrel of possible evictions amid the coronavirus pandemic will soon be able to apply for additional government assistance to help keep them in their homes. 

On Friday, the county is expected to open its online application portal for a $21 million program aimed at helping people pay rent, utility bills and other housing-related costs.

The money comes by way of a federal grant made possible by Congress’ adoption of a $900 million COVID-19 relief package, which lawmakers approved in December, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. 

Some 8,000 households in DeKalb are currently on the verge of evictions, county officials have said. 

Few options, though, exist to help them avoid displacement, save for government-enacted eviction moratoriums, which, experts have said, are merely delaying the inevitable “tsunami” of evictions that could crash once those protections expire. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium was recently extended until the end of March, but, for many families, back rent keeps adding up. 

DeKalb County’s new program — which will also help landlords facing financial hardships due to unpaid rent, WSB-TV reported — will be administered by the nonprofit Goodwill of North Georgia, and the municipal court will oversee the application intake. 

Landlords will be able to apply for assistance for their renters, assuming those tenants don’t exceed the income maximums: $46,350 for an individual, $52,950 for a household of two, $59,550 for a three-person residence and $66,150 for a family of four, according to the TV station.

The upcoming launch of DeKalb’s program also reminds of the City of Atlanta’s emergency housing assistance program, which stopped accepting applications in December. City officials have not yet said when the application portal might reopen or how much new federal funding could boost the program. 

Check back here after Friday morning to see if you’re eligible for DeKalb’s assistance program. 

(Header image, via Kelly Jordan: A family’s belongings litter the front yard after they were evicted.)



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