GWINNETT COUNTY ANNOUNCES EXTENSION OF EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO LAUNCH IN APRIL

(Lawrenceville, Ga., March 16, 2021) – The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners announced Tuesday that the County will use more than $28.1 million in stimulus funds from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program to launch an extension of its Project RESET eviction prevention program.

Project RESET — developed last fall by Chief Magistrate Kristina Hammer Blum, District 4 Commissioner Marlene Fosque and HomeFirst Gwinnett’s Matt Elder — used CARES Act funding to make past-due rent payments directly to landlords in order to prevent imminent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. As of March 12, the program has assisted 849 households with more than $3.75 million in rental assistance for those affected by COVID-19.

The extension will allow applicants to seek financial support for past-due utility payment assistance as well as past-due rent.

“Some people experiencing financial distress related to COVID-19 have been able to keep up with their rental payments at the expense of essential utilities like power, gas and water,” said Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson. “We’re excited about the opportunity to build on the success of Project RESET to offer additional support for our community during this difficult time.”

The previous version of the program offered up to 6 months of assistance, whereas this extension offers up to 15 months of total assistance, which may include rental and/or utility arrears (up to 12 months) and future rental and/or utility assistance if needed.

To receive assistance, applicants must be a renter in Gwinnett County; have a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income; have either qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; and demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability through having an eviction notice, past due rent or utility notice.

Applications for this program will open in late April. Payments will be made directly to landlords and utility providers for past-due balances.

Tenants and landlords interested in participating in this program can access the Frequently Asked Questions at GCGA.us/RentalAssistance to learn more about the program and begin collecting required documents for the application submission.

Households in immediate need are encouraged to seek resources currently available in the community at GCGA.us/COVID19Resources.

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