2,000 applications already in for DeKalb’s new rent relief program

Monica Griffin at her apartment in Stonecrest. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Monica Griffin at her apartment in Stonecrest. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

DeKalb County opened applications for a new program aimed at preventing evictions at 9 a.m. Friday.

By 3 p.m., more than 2,000 folks had already asked for help — a surefire sign of the economic pain being wrought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are really excited to be able to help people, especially those already facing eviction,” Jayvone Hicks, DeKalb County Clerk of State and Magistrate Courts, said in a news release. “We are glad to be able to proactively offer relief instead of just processing writs of dispossessory.”

DeKalb officials announced the new program — made possible by a $21 million federal grant — earlier this week.

A group of court officials, the DeKalb County Marshal’s Office, Atlanta Legal Aid, Goodwill of North Georgia and mediators from the Dispute Resolution Center are all part of a coalition helping administer the program. The goal is to prevent evictions by getting money to cover past due rent, utilities or other housing costs directly to renters and landlords.

Both tenants and landlords can apply for the program and applications remain open at dekalbcountyga.gov/renthelp.

More information can also be found by calling 404-371-3201 between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Officials said that, in addition to the surge of applications, the county had already received 17,000 website visits, 3,700 emails and 350 calls related to the program.

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