A national survey on housing instability found that in July, at least 1 in 5 households were behind on their rent in 250 counties. Shelby County was one.
This is the bad news. But there was good news: The federal government gave the city of Memphis and Shelby County more than $ 50 million to pay off rent to tenants, which could prevent thousands of families from being evicted – thus. than the ruin of credit and the emotional upheavals that inevitably follow.
And yet, there is more bad news: because of the way the federal emergency rent assistance program is structured and the choices local administrators have made (were forced to make?), L money is not reaching those who need it most quickly enough. Families fall through the cracks.
“When you’re dealing with this volume (of evictions) it’s soul crushing,” said Kayla Billingsley, the young lawyer who runs this program.
Journalist Jacob Steimer has spent a lot of time in court, observing how the eviction process works (or doesn’t). Program administrators know what changes they would make to get more if they could. And they know exactly who could help them. Please take the time to read Jacob’s story.
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