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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — This morning, the line of New Orleans tenants applying for emergency rental assistance wrapped around the building of the Joe Brown gymnasium. Inside, workers met with renters to see how they can get financial aid before being evicted.

“We’re giving each one of the tenants a letter that they can go out from here with and give to their landlord, make sure the landlord knows that the tenant is here to try to get emergency rental assistance,” said Austin Badon, New Orleans Clerk of Court.

Evictions have been suspended in response to the pandemic, but that all changes at midnight, leaving thousands of new orleans who are behind on rental payments at risk of being kicked out of their homes.

“They threaten to put me out. I been applied for this five months ago, now you’re talking about I got to go back and do this all over again. My landlord threaten to put me out. I want help,” said New Orleans resident Amoss Banks.

Help is exactly what Badon and his office is trying to offer both renters and landlords.

“The city of New Orleans has received about 9.6 million dollars to be able to give out directly to landlords. They don’t have to go through the tenant or have the tenant to apply, the landlords can go and actually apply, hopefully receive their money within two weeks,” said Badon.

The financial help is also to assist those affected by Hurricane Ida.

“Oh, it’s been a real struggle because when Hurricane Ida came, I got water up to here in my apartment, and I had a lot of stuff to throw away,” said New Orleans resident Sandra Johnson.

Badon adds that each tenant and landlord must bring the proper documentation, like proof of lease and identification when applying for disaster assistance.

Badon says at least 1,600 tenants have applied for emergency rental assistance. He says there could be more rental assistance application events next week depending on the community’s need. As for landlords, they can start filing evictions at the civil court building tomorrow morning at 9 am.

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