Athens-Clarke County Commissioners are considering a program aimed at keeping people facing eviction in their homes, as well as providing financial assistance to landlords. Commissioner Tim Denson is pushing for the creation of Project Reset.
Project Reset started in Gwinnett County and has been duplicated in other areas in the state. Denson says funding for the program would come from the American Rescue Act, which will provide Athens with $60 million.
As of late April, Gwinnett County has spent $6 million to stave off some 1,300 evictions. ACC Commissioners meet tomorrow evening.
According to Denson, the program would work this way:
- A tenant is served a dispossessory notice (aka eviction notice) and instructed to give an answer to the notice at the Magistrate Court
- Tenant and/or landlord is informed of Project RESET when they visit the court or via outreach efforts and invited to apply
- Tenant or landlord applies for Project RESET
- Applicable Project RESET housing service partner reaches out to other party (tenant or landlord) to complete application and submit documentation
- Housing service partner will review application and documentation for eligibility
- Once eligibility is confirmed, settlement offer is made to landlord to cure rental arrears
- If accepted, payment is made directly to landlord and Magistrate Court will follow up on issuing Settlement/Dismissal Order
- Landlord receives payments & Tenant is able to remain in their home, with their rental situation “reset” and fees dismissed, and is encouraged to take advantage of financial literacy supports