With Expiration Of Eviction Moratorium Looming, Lexington Leaders Updated On Rental Assistance
With the federal eviction moratorium set to expire in two weeks, Lexington city leaders have been updated on rental assistance. Grants and Special Programs Director Charlie Lanter said about 1000 households are on the list. He said approximately 600 have received rental assistance through the $17 million in federal money.
Lanter told Council members this week landlords might want to think twice about evicting come July first. “You can evict on July first, but if you want to get paid, do not evict on July first because in order to be eligible for the program the resident has to be residing in the property. So, if you’re owed eight months of rent and you’re waiting on us to pay you, the worst thing you can do is evict somebody on July second. Cause now you’re never going to see that money,” said Lanter.
The grants administrator said staffing of the call center has been challenging. Vice Mayor Steve Kay suggested local funds be used to bolster staffing for distribution of assistance.
Lanter noted federal guidelines include prioritizing applicants based on things like income and being in imminent threat of homelessness. “We’re going. The freight train is moving down the track. I think we’re going to start to see those payments accelerate. It’s never going to be fast enough for someone whose been waiting three months. I understand that. The program is moving and the most important thing is to reassure both landlords and tenants we will get to you, we will get to you,” explained Lanter.
Lanter added there is no restriction on the amount of assistance, but it is limited to rent for the past 12 months and the next three months. Lexington is tapping into about $17 million in federal funds with another $11 million expected from the state.
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