Rental, Utility, Housing Related Assistance remains available through Georgia’s Rental Assistance Program
Guest Column Contributed by: Tonya Cureton Curry, Deputy Commissioner of Housing, Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA)
As America continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic’s overwhelming impact, many Georgians received aid that prevented evictions, housing instability, and loss of utilities. In one year, the Georgia Rental Assistance (GRA) Program has provided aid to more than 36,000 tenants by providing rental, utility, and other housing related assistance and funds remain available.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) administers the GRA program, which launched in March 2021. The program can help pay rent, utilities, and other housing related expenses such as application fees, deposit fees, storage fees and more, even if the applicant has been evicted. Generally, the assistance for these expenses is paid directly to participating landlords and service providers on behalf of tenants.
To date, GRA has expended approximately $641 million and processes approximately $50M per month in payments. As of the most recent Treasury report in June, of the 500 rental assistance programs across the country, only 8 programs have disbursed more funds than the GRA program. Collectively, the 13 programs in the state of Georgia have disbursed more funding than all but 8 other state programs.
Several million dollars remain available for those who meet program qualifications and apply to the program. To qualify, the program requires applicants to demonstrate a financial hardship that does not have to be COVID-related and have a household income that is less than 80% of the average median income (AMI) for their area; however, it must be related to a financial hardship that occurred since the beginning of the pandemic on March 13, 2020.
The GRA team has worked diligently to process thousands of applications per week to landlords, service providers and tenants in need of rental, utility and housing related assistance. The GRA program remains committed to ensuring that all qualifying Georgians are provided with the assistance they need to avoid eviction and remain in their homes with their families.
For those with limited technology access or who may need assistance with applications, please contact the statewide partner Georgia Legal Services or call the GRA call center today. Representatives are available to assist and will put callers in touch with the appropriate partner agency based on their needs.
Georgia Legal Services Program
Georgia Rental Assistance Program
All required documents, templates, and printable paper applications are available on the website in the following languages: Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
To determine eligibility and apply, please visit paymyrent.ga.gov.