Local officials hopeful community will see federal rental assistance aid sooner rather than later

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FILE – In this Jan. 13, 2021, file photo, tenants’ rights advocates demonstrate in front of the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in Boston. A federal judge is refusing landlords’ request to put the Biden administration’s new eviction moratorium on hold, though she made clear she thinks it’s illegal. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich on Friday, Aug. 13, said her “hands are tied” by an appellate ruling the last time courts considered the evictions moratorium in the spring. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – It’s been almost a week since the Supreme Court put an end to extending the moratorium on eviction but the urge to help those facing displacement or homelessness in Columbus continues.

According to an analysis done by the Wall Street Journal 3.5 million households are at risk of evictions across the U.S. after the Supreme Court ruling. Now local officials like Director of Columbus’s reinvestment department Robert Scott are trying to make sure everyone receives the aid they applied for and need in a timely fashion.

Scott said despite the end of the eviction moratorium his teams mission remains the same, get the Georgia Rental Assistance program in front of those who need.

“One thing that the eviction moratorium afforded us when it was still intact was it was buying us sometime to be able to grass roots approach, drive our message,” said Scott. “However since you know the supreme court decided what it decided, it makes every minute that we spend trying to get the word out that much more valuable.”

Scott said his office has not received and influx of calls following the decision to end the moratorium, but the flow of emails and inquires has remained consistence.

While Scott deals directly with the federal aid program, people like Vice President of United Ways Home For Good, the organization that works to implement the cities plan to end homelessness, Pat Frey said she’s hopeful following the Department of Treasury’s relaxation on documents they are requiring to obtain this aid that it will help move this move it along more quickly.

“I’m hoping with some of the relaxation of the treasury, actually this was Department of Treasury, Department of Housing and Urban Development, USDA and several other huge partners in the federal world who came together and said we’re all going to join in on this and make it easier for folks to access this assistance,” said Frey. “If not we’re not going to head off the catastrophe that we try to do with this funding.”

In other good news, Frey adds people with the Emergency Solutions Grant Cares or CV funding, which was on hold, can use this preventative money starting Aug. 31.

She said while Home For Good has not yet seen an increase in calls since the Supreme Court ruling, she does expect to see an increase in calls shortly.

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