DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Due to the pandemic, many renters who couldn’t afford their rent,avoided being evicted from their homes. Those renters will soon face trouble when a nationwide eviction ban expires.
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put in place a national ban on evictions, called a moratorium. Resources are limited, but one organization in the Wiregrass is preparing to assist those who need it the most in our community.
David Duke, the Executive Director for Wiregrass 211 said they are gearing up for their call volume to start spiking once the CDC’s ban on evictions expires.
According to Duke, they collaborate with over 900 agencies across the wiregrass to provide local services to residents in need.
“If you know you’re going to be in a bind and you need help with rental assistance, the best thing to do is to pick up your phone and dial 211, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Duke said.
According to Duke, the current moratorium ends on June 30. He said people do not need to worry if they are having trouble coming up with their rent, because they are there to help.
Duke said on top of local churches and non-profits there is a state program residents can apply for which will give them emergency rental assistance.
“For that program, you have to need rent assistance as a direct result of COVID, just keep that in mind, but who hasn’t been affected by COVID,” Duke said.
According to a study done at the end of April by the National Equity Atlas, 14 percent of all renters are currently behind on their rent.
Duke said his organization’s goal is to help people in the Wiregrass, who are apart of the 5.8 million renters, avoid eviction and homelessness.
“We’ve had people contacting us for the first time because they have never ever needed assistance before in their lives and here they were financially strapped,” Duke said. “We had people before they would even say anything much would say I am sorry to bother you, I am sorry to call.”
Duke said he can’t stress enough the importance of patience. He tells WDHN there are organizations ready to help but to remember resources are limited.
If you need assistance you can find information on Wiregrass 211’s website.