DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — More financial assistance is on the way for people struggling to pay rent.
Dekalb County has been granted an additional $14.8 million dollars in federal funds to help keep people in their homes.
“To see people out in my district right now that have already been evicted is a crisis situation," state Rep. Viola Davis said.
Davis represents House District 87, which includes portions of Dekalb County.
“People don't have time for excuses," she said. "They need something done now.”
Between Dec.12 and Dec. 18, 945 evictions were filed in Dekalb County. That's 40 more than that same time in 2019 and represents the steepest evictions increase in the five-county Atlanta area, records show.
View the Atlanta Region eviction tracker here.
“There's a lot of people who still need this rental assistance," Davis said. "There are certain basic needs that we all have to have, and food and shelter is number one.”
Davis says the county will use the additional $14.8 million to reopen the Tenant Landlord Assistance Coalition (TLAC).
When the program paused new applications last month, county officials confirmed about 5,700 applications were still outstanding.
“Hopefully we'll be able to move this money out into the community and make sure people maintain housing," said Davis, who admitted the first round brought to light technical and manpower issues that slowed the process.
"What is frustrating is when you see that there is a great need and you're unable to really move it fast and expeditiously," she said. “There [were] a lot of glitches in the system. What people have to remember is that this is very new. So there was a problem with communication if nothing else."
She said they've been working diligently to iron out those issues.
“To be truthful, I don't think that we will ever get all the kinks out of the system," she said. "But I can say that there's been a great improvement.”
For now, Dekalb is working through their backlog.
Dekalb residents can check their TLAC status or file a new claim here.
Any Georgia resident who needs assistance can access state funds here.
“By keeping people in their homes, we're laying out a foundation to keep the family stable," Davis said.