Rent increases causing eviction rates to skyrocket across South Ga.

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Published: May. 31, 2022 at 4:51 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Rent across South Georgia continues to rise at a rapid pace.

Experts say nationally, rent hit sharp increases in the last year — up to 40% in some cities. This is making it hard for some to be able to keep a healthy living.

Many families in Valdosta will soon be thrown out of their homes. That’s because funding from the Georgia Rural Assistance Program is ending soon.

South Georgia’s Partnership To End Homelessness Director Dr. Ronnie Mathis said his office is overwhelmed with applications from 18 different counties needing rental assistance.

Mathis said the state’s rental assistance program does in fact work. But, the concern is how long the process takes. The office got a grant for $30,000 but that money was dispersed within 45 days.

Mathis said people are in dire need of help.

“Some people can file two months but by the time the process works the way they have it now, that two months turns into 12 months. So wherein they could have paid two months rent, now they end up having to pay 12 months rent or even more,” Mathis said.

Case Manager Chontina Robinson said Georgia’s court system is mandating that tenants have a certain number of days before they can move out. This makes it harder for people to get the funding they need in that time frame.

“Time is of the essence with this. We really need Georgia rental assistance to speed up the process and if South Georgia’s Partnership is going to be one of the partnerships with them, we want them to be more involved with us,” Robinson said.

South Georgia’s Partnership To End Homelessness is completely volunteer-based. Some volunteers said evictions have gotten so bad that often, they would try to help families from their own pockets.

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