Atlantans seeking help avoiding possible eviction better hurry if they want to get money from the city’s emergency rental assistance program. Only the first 2,000 applicants who file the requisite paperwork will be considered before the application window closes again. 

The online application portal opened again on Monday, according to Chad Parker, spokesman with United Way of Greater Atlanta, which is administering the federally funded program.

The city and United Way have already disbursed the first, $22 million batch of funds, which “helped more than 7,000 households stay in their homes,” Parker told Atlanta Civic Circle

Now, officials are working to distribute another $15.3 million. More than $4.5 million of that pot has made its way to families in need thus far. Still, “many more individuals and families still need help, and we are working to help at least another 3,500 households with the remainder of the second round of federal funding,” Parker said.

Thanks to yet another — albeit final — extension of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) residential eviction moratorium, Atlanta and United Way aren’t in as severe a time crunch as they had been. 

“The extra breathing room gives the program more time to process applications,” said Parker. “But due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are encouraging people to apply as soon as possible.”

Of course, Atlanta isn’t the only city that’s grappling with a deluge of applicants for housing assistance money. 

“Some jurisdictions … have just cut off their [online] portal processes while they process applications that are already in,” David Whisnant, housing director at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), said during the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum’s April webinar. 

DCA officials, too, said the extension of the federal eviction ban has been a blessing for the state, which is also helping administer federal funds for emergency housing assistance.

This extension allows us to continue our efforts to distribute rental assistance and prioritize households where one or more household members are unemployed and have been unemployed for 90 days and/or experiencing risk of homelessness,” DCA spokeswoman Haley Volkmann said of the Georgia Rental Assistance (GRA) program.

Non-Atlantans can click here to see if they’re eligible for GRA assistance. 

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