Eviction file photo

(The Center Square) – Georgia will provide $552 million in rent and utility assistance to landlords and tenants, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday.

The federal government provided the COVID-19-related aid through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and it will be paid directly to landlords and utility companies.

“The effects of COVID-19 have hit many Georgians hard financially,” Kemp said. “In addition to protecting lives, we have to protect livelihoods so that Georgians can continue to have economic opportunity. I am pleased to be able to provide this rental relief to renters and landlords who have been impacted the most.”

Payments from the program, administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, will cover between 12 months to 15 months of rent or utilities. The state would open the program to Georgians who have experienced job or financial loss because of the COVID-19 pandemic and those with income levels at 80% or lower below Area Median Income, which varies by location.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau of Statistics, the median monthly gross residential rent in Georgia was $1,049 in 2019. Renters currently are protected from evictions until March 31 under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium.

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for four years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.