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Caddo Commission Approves Funding for Rental Assistance & Mental Health Hotline

CADDO PARISH, Louisiana — During a special meeting on Tuesday (August 25, 2020), The Caddo Parish Commission unanimously approved funding for an emergency rental assistance program and to establish a local mental health hotline to help support Caddo Parish residents who are in need of financial and emotional support as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Administered by the Providence House, the Caddo Emergency Rental Assistance Program $112,000 set aside is designed to help households financially impacted as a result of shutdowns, closures, layoffs, reduced work hours or unpaid leave due to the pandemic. The Commission also approved $120,000 to set up an The Emotional Support hotline to help individual who may in need of emotional support and coping through challenging times.

“These two program provides much-need financial assistance and emotional support to Caddo Parish residents who have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Commissioner Steven Jackson who authored both pieces of legislation. “It is important to understand even though our numbers may be looking better, we know that people are hurting and are burdened with how will they make basic ends meet. I am proud to see the commission united in understanding the neccessicity for this program and utilize our CARES ACT funding to support.”

This program will also provide financial assistance to Louisiana renters who are not current on their rent and/or at imminent risk of eviction due to COVID-19. Monthly emergency rental payments will be paid according to the amount on the lease agreement, not to exceed the fair market rents. The program gives priority to individuals who have been laid off, furloughed, had hours reduced, or have received advanced notification of future reduction in force. Individuals must show documentation from their employer and verification will be conducted.

“The Caddo Commission is proud to address the needs of our citizens and this ongoing burden placed upon them by the COVID-19 health crisis,” said Parish Commission President Mario Chavez. “This funding gives gives us an opportunity to prevent individuals and families from homelessness or eviction."

The Caddo Emergency Rental Assistance Program is designed to assist households whose income may have been slightly higher than the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirements and individuals who did not have an opportunity for assistance through Louisiana's Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Renters affected by business shutdowns, closures, layoffs and reduced work hours are strongly encouraged to apply.

More details on how Caddo residents can apply for these programs within the next week.

This year the Caddo Parish Commission has also provided funding to also support rapid community testing with LSUHSC, purchased and distributed 40,000 reusable facemask for Caddo citizens, and provided screening kits to small businesses to help with safe reopening. The Parish of Caddo as a whole was allocated $8,9 million in CARES Act funding to help respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic. To date, Caddo has more than $6 million dollars left in CARES Act funding that must be spent before the deadline. Leftover funds will be sent to another Parish or be forfeited to the State of Louisiana.

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