Doraville, charity partner to provide housing, utility relief during pandemic
City of Doraville
By Zachary Hansen
Doraville is partnering with St. Vincent de Paul Georgia to provide rent, mortgage and utility relief for at least 100 residents who are struggling to pay their bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In early February, the city approved a $100,000 grant to the nonprofit, which will accept applications for relief from Doraville residents. The program began accepting applications this week.
“Even though we would love to be able to provide more rental and mortgage assistance for our families, we know that every little bit helps,” Councilwoman Rebekah Cohen Morris said in a news release. “Hopefully this assistance will ensure some of our most vulnerable families will avoid foreclosure or eviction this winter.”
Doraville’s agreement included 40% for mortgage relief, 40% for rent relief and 20% for utility relief. The city used Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economy Security (CARES) Act funds to back the program.
Jerry Veltri, chief mission officer for St. Vincent de Paul Georgia, told the Doraville City Council that backlogged rent and utility bills have been the most frequently needed assistance. He added that average assistance is about $2,500 per person.
Councilwoman Stephe Koontz, who developed the plan along with Morris, said she wanted to make sure the program helped more than a few dozen residents. If the city allowed awards up to $2,500, only 40 residents could receive the maximum amount of relief.
City leaders decided to cap the maximum relief amount to $1,000. To qualify, an applicant must live in Doraville’s city limits and has to attest to thepandemic’s effectson their finances. In addition, they could not have received assistance from a priorCARES funded program.
The city will reevaluate the program later in March to see whether the maximum assistance size needs to be increased or if funding needs to be adjusted for specific categories. To apply, visitsvdpgeorgia.org/doraville-help.
I am proud to serve over 380,000 constituents from Doraville to Tucker, Decatur (Unincorporated DeKalb), Lithonia, and Stonecrest. District 7 is one of the largest districts in the State of Georgia. With diversity, unique communities, and a wide variety of economic resources, I embrace the opportunity to leverage our resources to make DeKalb great!