Tucker launches rent, utility assistance program using COVID-19 relief funds

City of Tucker

Credit: City of Tucker

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City of Tucker

Credit: City of Tucker

Tucker opened the application window for $1 million in rent and utility relief for residents struggling to financially weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DeKalb County city is partnering with NETWorks Cooperative Ministry to help hundreds of families who are behind on their bills. The city launched an application link at tuckerga.gov/arp last week.

In mid-September, the City Council set aside $1.2 million in American Rescue Act Plan funds to finance the rent and utility relief program. NETWorks Cooperative Ministry, a charity made of up several churches in north DeKalb, told the city it’s still seeing lots of need in the area.

ExploreTucker to use $1.2M in pandemic relief funds for rent, utility assistance

“We hear from people everyday who are falling behind on their utility bills or, even worse, their rent or mortgage payments,” David Fisher, executive director of NETWork Cooperative Ministries, said in a news release. “Some families have rebounded financially and are doing just fine. But it’s important for everyone to remember that there is a large number of people who lost their jobs or had their hours cut as a result of the pandemic.

Residents who apply have to demonstrate their financial hardship is a result of the pandemic. In addition, there’s an income cap of 80% of the area median income to qualify. In Tucker, that’s $49,440 for an individual or $69,240 for a family of four. Every additional family member adds $6,600 to that requirement.

In 2020, the city gave NETWork Cooperative Ministries $780,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to disburse to families in need. Those funds were used by December.

Tucker received about $6.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds this summer. It will receive another $6.8 million next year. The city plans to use the remainder of its 2021 allocation for infrastructure and greenspace projects.

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