Restore Hope Ministries is going through thousands of applications for rent assistance as a major deadline approaches.
Officials have to spend the COVID-19 relief money by Wednesday, Dec. 30.
Restore Hope Ministries has helped with rent assistance for 25 years. Executive director Jeff Jaynes said last year they paid $305,000 to help people stay in their homes.
“’Honestly,’ I said, ‘that’s not sustainable.’ We can’t keep that up,” Jaynes said.
Jaynes said they have paid $3.3 million since May 1. $1.5 million of those dollars came from the CARES Act.
When it ends, Jaynes said it is going to take away a major level of support.
“The state, that is managing the CARES Act funding that we are working through, would like us to finish by next Tuesday. It’s our deadline,” Jaynes said.
The CDC moratorium, which put a pause on evictions, is also set to expire this month. Jaynes said this will not only take away protection from tenants, but it will also add more debt.
Attorney Nathan Milner has represented landlords and property management groups.
If an extension does not happen soon, Milner said more evictions are expected.
“Everything we are doing on our end is preparing for that to expire or, if it does get extended, we will deal with it,” Milner said.
Milner said the best thing tenants can do is communicate with their landlords.
Jaynes believes something needs to be done quickly.
“We need this help,” Jaynes said. “It is proven to save lives both with the moratorium and rent assistance. We need both together.”