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Georgia Department of Community Affairs Implements Policy Changes Expanding Eligibility of Rental Assistance Program

Georgia Department of Community Affairs Implements Policy Changes  Expanding Eligibility of Rental Assistance Program

Renters and Landlords Can Check Eligibility and Apply for Financial Assistance Online

ATLANTA (May 21, 2021) – Since mid-March, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs has been administering rental assistance through the Georgia Rental Assistance Program (GRA) to individuals, families, and landlords whose finances have been negatively impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on evolving federal guidance, the Georgia Rental Assistance Program has expanded eligibility to include renter households that receive a monthly federal subsidy, such as a Housing Choice Voucher. Only the tenant portion of rent will be eligible for reimbursement and subject to existing program guidelines and limitations.

“This change allows more Georgians to receive important recovery assistance,” said DCA Commissioner Christopher Nunn. “All renters who have experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic are encouraged to visit the online GRA portal to explore options for rental and utilities relief.”

The portal is located at georgiarentalassistance.ga.gov. To date, GRA has distributed more than $4 million on behalf of more than 700 tenants and landlords in 98 counties.

The program, made possible through $552 million of U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance funding, is available to all who meet the following criteria:

  • Qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19,
  • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, and
  • Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), with priority given to: 1) households below 50 percent of the AMI, or 2) households with one or more individuals who have been unemployed 90 days or longer at the time of application.

The CDC Eviction Moratorium has been extended until June 30, meaning that no one should be evicted solely for non-payment of rent until that date. GRA is only available in communities that did not receive their own funding. The FAQ page at the portal has information on how to access rental assistance in areas not covered by GRA.

“DCA is in the business of helping people, and the funds available from the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help tenants and landlords across the state,” added Nunn. “Our staff is working diligently to vet all documentation and get financial assistance into the hands of those who need it most.”

To determine GRA eligibility and apply, visit the online portal GeorgiaRentalAssistance.ga.gov.

About the Department of Community Affairs 

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) partners with communities to build strong and vibrant neighborhoods, commercial and industrial areas through community and economic development, local government assistance, and safe and affordable housing. Using state and federal resources, DCA helps communities spur private job creation, implement planning, develop downtowns, generate affordable housing solutions and promote volunteerism. DCA also helps qualified Georgians with low and moderate incomes buy homes, rent housing and prevent foreclosure and homelessness. For more information, visit www.dca.ga.gov.