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Atlanta Civic Circle Housing Affordability

Will Atlanta’s emergency housing assistance program take new applications soon?

Credit unsplash

The City of Atlanta intends to start accepting new applications for coronavirus-related emergency housing assistance. Some day.

In a now-deleted Instagram post, Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, announced that the online portal that allows people to apply for money to help with rent, mortgage bills or other housing-related expenses would open back up yesterday, Feb. 1.

But when Atlanta Civic Circle asked Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ office to confirm that the application window, which closed in December, was indeed reopening, press secretary Michael Smith said it was not, and Invest Atlanta promptly pulled the Instagram post offline.

“When I have an update and more info, I will circle back,” Smith said in an email.

A screenshot of the deleted Instagram post.

Asked about the seemingly errant social media post, Invest Atlanta spokesman Matt Fogt reiterated that the housing assistance program’s portal did not go back online yesterday, but he did not say when that might happen, nor did he address questions regarding why a social media post was drafted — and ultimately published — to say it would.

Reached on Tuesday afternoon, Chad Parker, a spokesman with United Way of Greater Atlanta — the organization administering the city’s multi-million-dollar assistance program — told ACC the application window’s planned reopening had been postponed “to ensure that all current applications in the pipeline have been processed before taking on any new applications.”

“We’re asking for people to continue to check our website and follow us on social for further updates,” Parker said.

Invest Atlanta’s deleted post also noted that the application portal “will stay open for up to one week, depending on the number of applications,” and that “in-person application events will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 9.” (A nearly identical United Way Instagram post says the same thing, but without specific dates.)

Officials from the City of Atlanta, Invest Atlanta and United Way have not yet answered questions regarding whether either of those plans were still in effect, nor have they said how much money is left in the housing assistance fund or if the recently passed federal COVID-19 relief package could put more cash into it.

This story will be updated as more information comes to light. Click here to find out if you’re eligible to receive emergency housing assistance from the city.

(Header image: Jimmy Chang, via Unsplash)

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