ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's state government says it's developing plans to give out $522 million in federal rental assistance in coming months in 144 of the state's 159 counties.
The Department of Community Affairs said Friday that it will administer the program subject to federal guidelines that are still being developed. The department said it will make payments directly to landlords and utility providers. Aid will generally be for 12 months, but some households may qualify for 15 months.
The department said the program will not cover people living in Chatham, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall and Henry counties. Those larger counties and the city of Atlanta are getting shares of the $25 billion nationwide directly from the federal government.
Generally, the state says that to qualify, people must have qualified for unemployment benefits, experienced reduced income or higher costs, or experienced other financial hardship because of COVID-19.
People can also qualify if they show a risk of homelessness or have a household income below 80% of an area's median income.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended its eviction moratorium until March 31. The state says that means no one should be evicted solely for non-payment of rent until then. Visit GeorgiaLegalAid.org for more information.
The Department of Community affairs said it plans to start accepting applications in March. More information is available at GeorgiaRentalAssistance.ga.gov.