Dane County, in partnership with the Tenant Resource Center (TRC), has officially launched a more than $10 million emergency package to prevent evictions, County Executive Joe Parisi announced today. The program developed by the county with federal CARES funding, is projected to help stabilize housing for 9,000 Dane County residents at risk of eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“By preventing evictions, we are stabilizing housing for families during these uncertain, challenging times,” Parisi said.”We need landlords to continue to work with their tenants and partner with us to prevent evictions – funds are available that can support payment of back rent. As further evidence that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting communities of color from both a health perspective as well as economically, 78 percent of the applications already in are from families of color. It’s critical this funding gets out to those in need as quickly as possible, and we thank the TRC for working hard to do so.”

Individuals who make 80 percent area median income (AMI) and have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply. A preference will be made for individuals who apply that make 50 percent AMI and below. Documentation of economic hardship will be required to receive the funds, which will be paid directly to a tenant’s landlord with a mutual landlord-tenant agreement to repay back rent and avoid eviction proceedings.

The Tenant Resource Center is working in partnership with other area nonprofit organizations to raise awareness of the funds among landlords and tenants. The online application for the fund is now live, and individuals in need can apply at www.tenantresourcecenter.org/. Tenants who receive assistance can also access housing counseling, case management and mediation services. Landlords can also reach out to the TRC for information on federal mortgage protections and other assistance.

Typically, about 2,300 eviction filings are seen each year in Dane County. The Tenant Resource Center estimates the COVID-19 pandemic could increase the need to anywhere between 6,000-12,000 evictions, costing somewhere between $6.75 million and $13.5 million to address.

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