‘A critical situation’: Agencies offer aid as eviction moratorium expires

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium will expire on Saturday, July 31.

The Biden administration called on state agencies Thursday to provide emergency rental assistance to renters and landlords with critical needs.

The Supreme Court announced there won’t be another extension following their June motion to move the deadline through July 31. With rent prices soaring and financial pressures from the pandemic weighing on millions of families, places like the United Way of the Coastal Empire said the amount of people in crisis situations is growing.

“It could be any of us at any time,” said Direct Services and Impact Vice President Jennifer Darsey. “There have been so many people who come to the United Way both through the CARES project and the ERA project who’ve requested assistance who’ve never had any kind of assistance before in their lives.

“Not transportation assistance, not food assistance, not rental assistance, not mortgage assistance, not utility assistance; and now, they have been faced with, ‘I need help.'”

Even under the moratorium, the United Way helped nearly 800 individuals who were facing evictions. They said it’s a dual-issue trying to help property managers stay afloat while stabilizing families who are asset-limited and financially constrained.

“One of the things I think the CARES project and the ERA project has done has really helped people maintain their dignity and honor while asking for help,” Darsey explained.

It takes the average person 90 days in a new job to stabilize so they can make monthly payments, but Darsey said people who have an eviction on their credit history face an impossible task trying to find housing.

“It often is that one bit of help, that safety net, that catches a person right before they fall,” Darsey added. “And then us as a community and all of our partner agencies really looking towards that upward mobility, that uplift; so getting individuals stabilized in new employment, in new opportunities I think that is one of the major focuses going on right now.”

On Feb. 27, the United Way will host a breakfast for landlords, leasing companies and property management groups to create better access to the funds local nonprofits have available.

The agency said CARES Act funds and Emergency Rental Assistance is available to help residents in Savannah and Chatham County. You can call 211 to find out if you qualify and to connect with a resource. Click HERE to learn more about their programs.

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