Atlanta officials begin outreach for rental assistance program

More federal help is available for renters in Atlanta. 

Atlanta received $15 million in federal funds for housing costs. Atlanta city leaders are spreading awareness of assistance to make sure they spend all of the funds on renters in need.

FOX 5's Morse Diggs spoke to Atlanta City Councilman Matt Westmoreland, the chair of the city's community development committee. The committee approved a plan and organized volunteers who will go directly to landlords and people on the street to help notify renters qualifying for assistance. 

"These new dollars can be spent for rents in the future, but also going back a year from today," Westmoreland said. "When you look at the fact that residents might have gotten behind paying their rent, we'll be able to help wipe that past away."

A single resident's annual income can be no higher than $42,000 to qualify. The cutoff for families is higher. 

Westmoreland said the committee has built-in a strategy for residents in need of assistance without regular access to the internet. 

"We've learned not everyone is online or has access to the internet," Westmoreland said. "We're going to be more intentional about safe — COVID-wise — in-person outreach."

Volunteers were passing out fliers on the street Friday. 

People who applied to the earlier program will be prioritized. 

The bill also provides utility assistance, in addition to rental assistance. 

Residents interested in assistance can contact United Way.

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