DeKalb gets another $25M for local rental assistance

DeKalb County COO Zach Williams during a June 7, 2022 meeting of the Board of Commissioners. SCREENSHOT

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DeKalb County COO Zach Williams during a June 7, 2022 meeting of the Board of Commissioners. SCREENSHOT

DeKalb County has received another $25 million in federal COVID relief funds aimed at providing local rental assistance, officials announced Tuesday.

The new allocation will allow the county to re-open applications for its Tenant-Landlord Assistance Program for the first time in several months.

“We could not be more proud,” DeKalb COO Zach Williams said during a Tuesday morning meeting of the Board of Commissioners.

The county received an initial $21.6 million in federal rental assistance funds in early 2021. A cyberattack hampered the initial rollout of the TLAC program — which involves the local court system, Atlanta Legal Aid, the DeKalb Dispute Resolution Center and other entities — but it has seemingly been running smoothly for about a year now.

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With the initial allocation running low, DeKalb got a second tranche of $25 million in February. It did not reopen applications at that time, citing thousands of still pending applications.

To date, the TLAC program has given out about $42 million in assistance, helping more than 4,300 residents avoid eviction and address outstanding utility bills. Some of the money has also been distributed to local nonprofits who provide similar relief.

Williams said Tuesday there are still about 250 existing TLAC applicants, who will be given priority. But the third allotment of $25 million will allow the county to reopen applications to the public — possibly as soon as June 22.

The county commission is scheduled to vote on the item next week. More details will be released once that happens.