Rental assistance options for Chatham Co. community

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – Chatham County has received nearly $21 million in federal funding to help residents with rental assistance.

But only about $9 million have been used so far.

More than 2,000 families have already cashed in on this help, but if you are behind on rent payments due to the pandemic, you can get assistance.

In order to qualify, you need to be a Chatham County resident, living in a single or multi family rental home or mobile home, must meet the income requirements, be able to show proof that the household is at risk of experiencing homelessness, housing instability or eviction and lastly, that someone in the household qualified for unemployment benefits, experienced loss of income or other financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can apply online for the emergency rental assistance program, but since there is a lot of information, if you have questions the County will be holding an enrollment event on Sept.10 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. To register for the event visit their website or call 855.524.2842.

For more information about the Chatham County Emergency Rental Assistance program, visit their website.

This is just one way you can get some help right now on those rent payments but there is an event planned for Wednesday to help with the long term struggles of renting.

After a huge response from the last event, Representative Carl Gilliard is hosting additional sessions to help people move from renting to purchasing their own house.

They had more than 100 people come last time and Wednesday they have almost 200 people signed up already. When they come to the Empowerment Center, they will learn more about homeownership.

If they need help with a down payment – they can hear more from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and funds from their Georgia Dream Homeownership program.

There are additional funds for a down payment from the Savannah Dream Maker Home Purchase Assistance Program.

Then, there will be four different lenders on site to see if they qualify right on site.

The event known as “Come Get Your Keys” and it stems from the rental crisis hitting the entire country – including here in the Coastal Empire.

“Failure is not an option, what can we do for the solution? If you have been renting, renting, renting all your life and you don’t think you have the credit, we have FHA loans, we have lenders, we have innovative ways. If you don’t have the down payment assistance, let’s look at the state and the city and this is a good combination that we are working together, but come get your keys, here is an opportunity to move you from what is to what ought to be,” said Rep. Gillard.

There will be two sessions Wednesday happening at the Empowerment Center in Garden City. The first is from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and the second is from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Registration is required for this event. After Wednesday, Rep.Gilliard says they will continue to work with realtors and homebuilders to make the next step possible for people to get their house.