Georgia issues 3rd COVID-19-related evictions hold

Renters in danger of losing their place to live are getting another reprieve. The Georgia Supreme Court has extended for the third time the judicial emergency, which means a temporary halt to evictions. 

A large number of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. This is not just low-income or the working poor sectors. Many socio-economic groups don’t have enough in savings for a disaster like a global pandemic. So the double-digit unemployment rate means families struggle to pay rent. 

Star-C is an Atlanta-based nonprofit that works with rental communities – meaning apartment owners and renters - to help those facing eviction to get on a payback plan.

“Landlords, as I’ve said, are doing what they can to help their residents. Because, if they put their residents out now, they may be able to find another tenant, but they will have to spend money to turn the unit, painting it, fixing it up, possibly replacing carpet, and the unit could sit there vacant for a month," Star-C Executive Director Audrea Rease said. "So in most cases, it’s in the landlord's best interest for that tenant to stay if they can retain them.”

She points out that landlords don’t have an unlimited pool of cash either. They have expenses like their own mortgage on the properties. It’s interrelated. Everybody is squeezed. 

This is where Star-C helps. They have partnered with the owners of about 6,400 rental units in metro Atlanta to help renters get stabilized through payment plans. 

“But it’s also a way of serving the community and also making the community better. When schools are better, your city is better; your neighborhoods are better and families are stabilized. Crime goes down, so it’s really better for everyone,” Rease said to the Fox 5 I-Team's Dana Fowle. 

Star-C works with apartment management in DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, Clayton, and Douglas counties. 

FOX 5 will be following along with Rease as she heads to Fulton County court Monday to help those renters facing eviction prior to the COVID-19 issues. If this is the last stay offered, the processing of evictions in the COVID-19 time will begin July 14.