Surge of applications swamping metro Atlanta rent relief programs
A flood of applicants scrambling for housing assistance amid the pandemic seems to be overwhelming the government programs that distribute the money.
“Some jurisdictions, of course, have just cut off their [online] portal processes while they process applications that are already in,” said David Whisnant, housing director at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which is helping administer federal funds for emergency housing assistance, during Wednesday’s Atlanta Regional Housing Forum webinar.
The City of Atlanta, for instance, launched its $22 million emergency housing assistance program in August, allowing households financially burdened by the public health crisis to apply for thousands of dollars to help with rent, utilities and other housing-related costs. The city, working in concert with United Way of Greater Atlanta, received more than 20,000 applications. By mid-December, officials were forced to close the online application portal so they could digest the mountain of paperwork.