JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The nationwide eviction moratorium ended on Saturday, July 31. Now, the future is unclear for thousands of Mississippians.
“I have like two cousins and an ex that’s going to get kicked out maybe soon, because before the time was even relevant to being kicked out, the landlord sent them an eviction notice,” said Jesse Hernandez, who is a renter.
The Mississippi Home Corporation received approximately $186 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds through the U.S. Department of Treasury. The money will support people having trouble affording rent and other bills. It will be given out up until September 30, 2021.
“It’s a lot of money, and we want to give it out. It’s literally purposed for rent and utilities, and we’re doing everything that we can to get those applications in, process them as quickly as we can and get the money out to people,” said Scott Spivey, executive director of the Mississippi Home Corporation.
Since the “Rental Assistance for Mississippi Program” is relatively new, it has taken longer than expected to get the money to people in need. Spivey said they’re doing everything they can to help.
“First of all, if they haven’t applied, they need to apply. Second of all, if they have applied, they need to contact us as quickly as possible, so that we can reach out to their landlord and let them know that payment is forthcoming. Let us know there’s an emergency so that we can help.”
Spivey said about six percent of the total allotment has been dispersed at this time. He believes many people either don’t know about the program or don’t think they will qualify.
“The qualifications for the program to receive assistance are very broad. It’s an income driven program. Eighty percent or less of the area median income based on household size and have had your life somehow impacted by the pandemic, whether it’s an inability to pay rent, an increase in health care or childcare costs,” he explained.
The Mississippi Home Corporation has been hosting rental assistance fair across the state to help people apply.