SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Starting Thursday, April 1, people can starting applying for rental assistance in Caddo Parish.
The aid is meant to help both renters and landlords since the COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial strain on many.
“This is an opportunity to catch up on the rents that are owed and help those who need it going forward,” explained District 3 Caddo Commissioner Steven Jackson.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a federally funded rental assistance program earlier this month that will cover rental arrears for past-due rents reaching as far back as April 2020, and for future rent up to three months forward. This comes from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act that Congress passed in 2020.
Five Louisiana parishes, including Caddo, received additional funding for rental assistance from the U.S. Treasury, according to Jackson, which is where this rental assistance money is coming from.
He said the parish has seen an uptick in eviction hearings since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Many people have been out of work for six to 12 months. That’s six to 12 months worth of rent that landlords have had not coming in. Those landlords will be able to recoup rents for those months that they have not been able to collect rent,” said Jackson.
Bobby Collins, CEO of Shreveport Housing Authority, pointed out the pandemic has been difficult for everyone, including the landlords.
“I couldn’t imagine the kind of vacancies they would experience if this program didn’t come along to help them to get those tenants caught up and stabilize their occupancy. It’s going to be a big help to folks in not creating some critical situation with people becoming homeless, but also for a lot of landlords that depend on that rent to do repairs, to pay insurance, to pay mortgages. It’s going to help a lot of landlords who are in a bind as well.”
If you need help applying, you can call 318-226-6598 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except for observed holidays, or you can contact one of the following non-profits if you need additional application assistance:
Catholic Charities of North LA 318-865-0200
NWLA Community Development Corp. 318-631-4428
Grace Project 318-676-2769
Providence House 318-221-7887
United Way of Northwest LA 318-677-2504
KSLA News 12′s Domonique Benn moderated a conversation with Caddo officials March 31 answering questions about the program. Click here to watch it.