Louisiana Program Set to Help Tenants and Landlords During Crisis
In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the United States government instituted a moratorium on all housing evictions related to non-payment of rent. When it first went into effect, I understood the intent of the moratorium. Lots of people, through no fault of their own, were suffering financially and it would be terribly wrong to have them kicked out of their home, because of this crisis.
According to the Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center, you must meet the following qualifications to be covered.
- You will make less than $99,000 in Calendar Year 2020-2021 (or $198,000 if you are married and filed a joint tax return), you did not have to pay income tax in 2020, OR you received a federal stimulus check;
- You cannot pay rent because of lost income or because of high out-of-pocket medical costs;
- You have used your best efforts to obtain government rental assistance;
- You would become homeless or need to move in with a friend or family member if you were evicted;
- You will continue to pay as much rent as you can, given your circumstances.
Fantastic news for people hit hard during this crisis, but then it occurred to me. What about the landlord? Don't they also have rights? Don't they also having bills coming due? Without rental payments coming in, how are they supposed to weather this storm?
That's why I was relieved to see this story originally posted by the Louisiana Radio Network. In that story we read that Louisiana has now launched a new program that provides financial assistance to both tenants AND landlords suffering from financial hardship because of COVID.
According to Keith Cunningham, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Housing Corporation, $161 million has been allocated for 57 parishes to aid in this situation.
He says, “What our effort is, is preventing people from being homeless and provide the necessary assistance to those landlords who’ve been carrying this burden as we all have been dealing with COVID.” In regards to those landlords, Cunningham gave some great news and stated the program's primary focus was to catch up those past due rental payments.
“Meaning those landlords who have been holding that burden of that tenant, we want to make sure that those individuals are paid, up to as far back as April,” said Cunningham.
Cunningham also states that those households having at least one member who has been unemployed for more than 90 days due to COVID are given priority.
“Households earning less than 50 percent Area Median Income, as the law requires, but we’re also making sure that individuals who tried to participate to get rental assistance from us in the past are considered,” said Cunningham.
For more information visit LAStateRent.com.