‘Overwhelming response’ causes Fulton to end $18M rental assistance apps

The Fulton County Government Center was sporadically bustling in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday, June 29, 2020. (REBECCA WRIGHT FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION)
The Fulton County Government Center was sporadically bustling in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday, June 29, 2020. (REBECCA WRIGHT FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION)


Fulton County will stop accepting applications to its federal rental assistance program after two weeks “due to an overwhelming response.”

A news release from the county said Fulton will stop at 5 p.m. Monday. Applications will then be reviewed and evaluated based on federal guidelines — Fulton Chief Operation Office Anna Roach has said that the feds told them to prioritize people with incomes below 50% of the area median income and unemployed for 90 days or more.

Congress passed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which gave Fulton about $18 million to disburse directly to landlords and utility companies.

The maximum payouts are $1,300 per month for 6 months and $200 per month for utilities. Fulton’s share will not go to any residents in the city of Atlanta because the city was large enough to receive its own allotment.

Fulton Commission Chairman Robb Pitts said when the program opened March 1 that there were 30,000 eligible residents, but there was only enough money to help 2,500 residents.

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Early numbers from the county show that at least 10,000 people have applied.

But more help might be on the way. Congress last week passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which is set to help everyone from local governments to anti-poverty programs across the nation. Fulton is poised to receive Georgia’s largest local allocation at $206 million, but leaders have not yet decided how to allocate the money.

But those looking to apply for rental assistance before 5 p.m. Friday can submit their application online at https://www.fultoncountyga.gov/renthelp or in person at the Fulton County Government Center’s Information Desk, 141 Pryor St. SW in Atlanta. Though the program won’t be accepting new applications, existing applicants can ring the call center at 833-716-2223 to speak to a live agent about their application Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Applicants can also contact the county via email at rentpay@fultoncountyga.gov.

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