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Parish President Gordon E. Dove

 

Louisiana Launches New Program to Assist Renters and Landlords Impacted by COVID-19

Tuesday March 09, 2021 08:10 am - 567 Views - Posted By Housing and Human Services

Governor John Bel Edwards announced the launch of a new program that will provide financial assistance to Louisiana renters and landlords experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is funded through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021. This relief package includes $25 billion for emergency rental assistance, of which $161 million has been allocated to the state to provide assistance in 57 Louisiana parishes.

The Louisiana Housing Corporation, in partnership with the Louisiana Office of Community Development, will administer the state program. In addition, the law allowed local jurisdictions with populations over 200,000 to apply for and receive direct allocations from the U.S. Treasury. In Louisiana, seven jurisdictions - Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans, and St. Tammany parishes - did so and will administer their own programs. 

The state-administered program will focus on paying rental arrears, or past-due rent, and up to three months of future rent for eligible applicants. Priority will be given to households where at least one member has been unemployed for more than 90 days due to COVID-19, and to households earning less than 50 percent of the Area Median Income, as required by the law. 

Louisiana renters may be eligible for assistance from the state-administered program if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They qualify or previously qualified for unemployment benefits, or experienced an income reduction or other financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • They are not current on rent payments or at risk of eviction.
  • Their total household income is at or below 80 percent of the area median income.

Information on AMI income levels by parish can be found at LAStateRent.com.

Louisiana landlords may apply on their tenant’s behalf. To participate in the program, landlords must not evict a tenant for at least 60 days after the assistance ends and must forgive late fees, penalties, interest, and court costs.

To learn more or to apply for the state program, tenants and landlords can visit LAStateRent.com. For questions about the program or assistance with the application process, renters or landlords can call 877-459-6555. Renters in the 57 designated parishes affected by business shutdowns, closures, layoffs and reduced work hours as well as those receiving enhanced unemployment benefits are strongly encouraged to apply.

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