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LA: Rental assistance program overwhelmed; temporarily shuts down after 3 days

Coronavirus

BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — In only three days after it ramped up, Louisiana’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program has been temporarily been shut down.

The program, as run by the Louisiana Housing Corporation, was set to help Louisiana renters affected by COVID-19 shutdowns to make their rental payments. The program was funded by the feds with $7 million available now and another $17 million promised at a later date. Tenants could sign up by visiting LaRentHelp.com or by calling the state’s 211 hotline. The service went online Thursday, July 16.

However, visiting the site shows that action has been temporarily suspended. Users can sign up for a notification for when the assistance resumes. An email from the Louisiana Housing Corporation stated that the system is down “due to overwhelming response.”

Louisiana Housing Corporation Executive Director Keith Cunningham explained last week recipients could be eligible for assistance with up to three months of back rent owed an up to three months of rental assistance going forward. Monies will not be made available to tenants, but will instead go directly to landlords.

It is unclear when the service will resume operations.

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