COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – With the end of the fourth and final extension of the federal moratorium on eviction looming advocacy groups and local officials are informing and urging those at risk of being evicted to reach out and learn about programs that can help.
One of the biggest programs is the Georgia Rental Assistance Program. It’s a state program that local officials like Director of Columbus’s reinvestment department Robert Scott have worked to make known and accessible to those in need.
“The hardest barrier has been most definitely getting the word out to the community,” said Scott. “A lot of times resources exist and people just don’t have the information to be able to connect to the opportunity.”
The way the program works is renters with income less than 80% of the area median income line can apply for financial assistance up to $15,000.
One of the most crucial steps to note is that both the renter and the landlord must apply to this program.
The steps for applying to GRA include things like filling out, scanning and uploading paperwork, showing proof of missed rent, identification, leasing documents and more.
Tasks that can be hard for those in the community who might not have the resources, which is why Scott said himself and his department worked with local advocacy groups and centers like libraries to make sure residents had access to information about the program, but also tools they need to complete the application.
“Knowing about the program as well as having resources to connect to the program such as the equipment the broadband ya know the need to fill out the application, scan and upload the documentation,” said Scott. “Ya know those are the types, those are the major barriers towards someone having success towards applying for this type of assistance.”
Renters and landlords can also go to georgiarentalassistance.ga.gov for more information and to apply.
Scott’s hope is to continue sharing this information across the community so those who might be facing eviction come the 31st have options to help them stay in their home.
“Ya know, so it’s much bigger than just an eviction moratorium,” said Scott. “And if we don’t have the right safety nets in place ya know, know it can be tough for a lot of households undoubtedly.”
Renters can also request funding to help with missed utility payments through the GRA program.
Slides with more information about the program, what is needed to apply and where you can go for help are in the photos below.