New rental assistance program for Hartford residents
HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - Some relief is on the way for renters in Hartford.
Tenants are growing tired of rising rents.
“For someone especially like me, as young as I am, I’m having to work at least 2, probably 3 jobs just to really make ends meet,” said Omari Earlington, Hartford.
These Hartford residents know firsthand how challenging it is to keep up with the cost of living these days.
“For me, it’s kind of hard because I’m a college student and I don’t have a lot of money to give towards rent. Cause I also have to pay for my schooling,” said Marquis Thomas, Hartford.
The city council passed an emergency fund in the hope that it will help limit evictions and provide support to tenants struggling the most.
Councilmembers say it’s a much-needed resource for tenants in the city.
“Folks who are faced with eviction are finding it hard to find a place that’s affordable to live,” said Councilwoman Tiana Hercules, Hartford City Council.
The renter’s emergency fund is a total of $1,000,000.
It was passed as a financial resolution in the mayor’s proposed budget for the 2024 fiscal year.
The money will be used to help qualifying residents with up-front payments on rentals.
Funds will also be used to assist Hartford residents who are going through eviction proceedings or disputes with property owners.
“There will probably be an application process. And from there, the funds will be released to either pay back rent, do some type of mediation with landlords while they’re going through, if they’re already going through, the process to avoid eviction,” said Councilwoman Tiana Hercules, Hartford City Council. “They’ll be able to either avoid eviction or pay some past due rent to stay in their apartments now because the rents are very high.”
Advocates say this is a good start, but they hope to see more long-term solutions.
“A lot of folks are dealing with really horrible conditions. We have moms with small children living in apartments with rats, roaches, there’s mold,” said Stefan Keller, Volunteer Organizer, CT Tenants Union. “We also are thinking about how do we continue to work with the city and push for longer-term solutions.”
The city council will work with the mayor’s office to make sure the emergency fund is deployed effectively and equitably.
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