NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The City of New Orleans has announced it will begin providing direct payments to utility providers and rapid relief to landlords to help prevent tenants from being displaced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City reported the news on Thursday after the U.S. Department of Treasury issued new guidance that permits the city to directly pay landlords in bulk to establish procedures that will combine assistance to households facing the threat of eviction.
Payments made to both landlords and utility companies are based on estimates of debt with much be confirmed by grant recipients within six months of payment. Guidance by the city recommends decreasing the estimate by a certain percentage to eliminate risks of overpaying.
Funding will be disbursed in pools to help ensure landlords of smaller properties can participate in the program. The city reports:
- 40% of funds will go to landlords who own eight or less housing units
- The remaining 60% will be awarded to landlords with 9 or more housing units
The funding is allocated from a larger fund provided by both the federal government and State of Louisiana.
As funding continues to become available, the City urges landlords to refrain from filing evictions as Governor John Bel Edwards’ eviction moratorium expires on Friday (September 24).
In a statement announcing the funds, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said:
“Our residents have suffered greatly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and we are now able to extend assistance leveraged from our federal partners at the U.S. Department of Treasury to provide some relief directly to landlords to avoid the continuation of debt accumulation and housing displacement. We greatly appreciate the amount of flexibility given to grantees such as the City that will allow us to help those small landlords who are not in a position to shoulder lost rental income, in addition to giving residents much needed assistance with making past due utility payments.”
For more information or for the revised landlord application, visit ready.nola.gov, or the City of New Orleans Office of Housing Policy and Community Development (1340 Poydras Street, 10th Floor).