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Rental assistance program has helped nearly 2,700 metro Atlanta families

By Sean Keenan

A rental assistance program launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has helped almost 2,700 families, according to nonprofit Star-C, which kicked off the initiative in April. 

Star-C announced on Wednesday that the program had paid out $4 million to help those families avoid displacement. 

“Through incredible collaboration, grants and strong individual giving, we’ve been able to help more people across a broader area than we ever imagined, and our commitment continues to helping hardworking Atlantans who have temporary challenges paying rent,” Audrea Rease, Executive Director of Star-C programs, said in a press release.

The initiative has raised $4.6 million to date for eviction relief and program administration, with 80 percent of that coming from federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding from Cobb and DeKalb counties and the City of Atlanta. Another $50,000 came from a GoFundMe campaign

Rease noted in the release that Star-C has partnered with 273 landlords, “encompassing over 56,000 affordable and workforce apartment units in 14 counties.”

The eviction prevention fund evolved from an “Eviction Lab” program Star-C created in 2019 that was initially meant to simply provide a case study on evictions at two low-income apartments in the metro area. The coronavirus outbreak led it to blossom into a fund to provide rental assistance.

News of the program’s success comes on the heels of the late-December announcement that President Donald Trump had signed another federal COVID-19 relief bill, which, among other things, extends a federal eviction moratorium until the end of January. 

(Header image, via Kelly Jordan: A household’s belongings were put on the lawn after an eviction.)

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