Atlanta sends millions of dollars in COVID-relief back to Washington

Atlanta city officials say they have been unable to deliver millions in COVID-relief funds to citizens who badly need the cash in order to stay in their homes.

The city has helped thousands of families by providing rental assistance. The direct payments could be used for utilities and associated housing costs.

But in the last basket of funding totaling $21 million, a city finance official said only $11 million went out before the deadline.

Atlanta must return $10 million to Washington.

What happened?

Jerry Deloach explained interest in the program decreased.

Homeless encampment seen in the metro Atlanta area.

A volunteer, James Davenport, labeled the decision "a shame" when so many families continue to struggle.

"We did all we could to maximize these funds," Mr. Deloach told members of the Atlanta City Council.