Tucker using federal COVID relief money for rental assistance program

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Tucker City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

By Dan Whisenhunt

The City of Tucker on Dec. 1 announced the launch of a rental assistance program paid for with federal COVID-19 relief funds.

“Residents of the City of Tucker who are behind on their bills have new hope today, as federal funds are now available for rent, mortgage and other assistance,” a press release from the city says. “Tucker is partnering with NETWorks Cooperative Ministry to distribute $1 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to those in need.”

The program has been in the works for awhile, the city says.

“As soon as President Biden announced the ARP funds, we began to prioritize how best to put this money to work in the community,” said Assistant City Manager John McHenry, who is overseeing distribution of the money, said in the press release. “I think it is telling that the very first move we made was to direct these funds to residents in need. The City saw a crucial need and we responded in a prompt manner with a trusted partner.”

“We hear from people everyday who are falling behind on their utility bills or, even worse, their rent or mortgage payments,” David Fisher, the Executive Director of NETWorks, said in the press release. “Some families have rebounded financially and are doing just fine. But it’s important for everyone to remember that there is a large number of people who lost their jobs or had their hours cut as a result of the pandemic. We need to continue to work to help those folks get through this very challenging time.”

People who want to participate in the program must be city residents and meet other criteria.

“Single person households must earn less than $49,440 (adjusted upward for more people in the household), have a demonstrated financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and have incurred housing or utility expenses between March 15, 2020 and February 28, 2022,” the press release said. “Those matching the criteria may apply immediately at www.tuckerga.gov/arp. The City of Tucker and NETWorks partnered last year on distribution of nearly $1 million in federal CARES Act funds, which helped residents to meet rent or utility obligations in the direct aftermath of the COVID pandemic.”

Read the original story on TuckerObserver.com.