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Regional, local housing services supporting renters during the pandemic



MONROE, La. – Regional and local housing support groups are stepping up to help renters facing financial hardship during the pandemic.

In less than a week, Governor Edwards’ $24 million emergency rental assistance program was overwhelmed by over 40,000 people interested. It is now temporarily suspended.

Sarah Johnson with Monroe’s HOME Coalition said this wasn’t surprising given the growing need.

“We knew that the governor’s program was going to start, we knew it would be a lot of demand,” Jonhson said.

Johnson is advising renters to consider looking at local resources like The Wellspring, United Way, and others if they are facing homelessness.

“We have applied for and have been awarded more funding to help those expanded numbers we expect with COVID-19 but we have not received those funds yet,” she said.

While the program is on hold, Johnson said the state should be doing more to help renters with the money it has.

“I’m more interested in seeing more with the money that’s already been awarded to the state and through them to the regions thrive, so we can put that money to work for our citizens before they experience homelessness,” she said.