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NEED RENTAL ASSISTANCE? Eviction moratorium extend, state financial assistance program active now

(WCAX)
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 2:46 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Housing advocates in Louisiana say nearly 85,000 residents may be in fear of losing their homes during the pandemic.

The CDC extended the eviction moratorium until June 30. That bans evictions on families who can’t pay their rent. But, the moratorium doesn’t protect families against evictions for other reasons.

The Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center applauds the moratorium’s extension, but they also want to see loopholes closed.

“We do know that many landlords are going to continue to try to evict families,” Cashauna Hill, Executive Director of The Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center said. “Courts in our areas that are hostile to this order will allow those landlords to kick families out of their homes. It does still fail to close the loopholes that are allowing families to be forced from their homes during the pandemic,” Hill said.

Renters must opt-in for protections under the moratorium.

“They have to confirm that their hours have been cut or they lost their job, or that some sort of financial hardship has happened that is negatively impacting their ability to pay their rent.”

In the last stimulus package in December, Congress approved $25 billion for rental assistance. Hill said more than $300 million will go to Louisiana.

For families in Central Louisiana Parishes, the application for the statewide rental assistance program can be found on lastaterent.com

Applicants eligible for the program may receive assistance with rent money owed dating back to April 2020. The program also gives struggling rent assistance paying up to three months of future rent.

Hill does have concerns that the program could take too long for struggling families to get funds before their eviction.

“We do expect that it’s going to take months to fully distribute the money,” she said. “It’s difficult for families to be able to apply and assemble all the necessary documents while they’re all living through this crisis.”

For information on the eviction moratorium, click here.

For information about the statewide rental assistance program, click here.

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