Help available for qualified residents who can’t pay rent, MLGW bills because of COVID-19

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Help is here for lots of Shelby County residents who can’t pay their rent or utility bills because of COVID-19.

Qualified residents can get up to 12 months of past due rent and MLGW bills paid for thanks to a new county assistance program that’s funded by the Federal Government to the tune of $28.2 million.

To qualify, a resident has to have lost income because of COVID-19 and meet certain requirements. For example, a household of four can’t make more than $54,300 a year.

Jim Stubbs says he knows plenty of people who can benefit from the program.

“Every month you gotta pay your light bill,” he said, “You gotta pay your rent every month (or) you gonna get put out, you know?”

Residents can apply online where they’ll be asked to provide supporting documents. For example, a separation notice or letter from a former employer.

Dorcas Young Griffin is with Shelby County Community Services. She says anyone who qualifies can get help no matter how much they owe.

“Their income could have been $100,000 last year and now it’s zero and they still have rent that was maybe $1,500 a month,” she said, “We can pay those 12 months of $1,500.”

Griffin says the payments go directly to landlords and MLGW. Landlords also have to register with the county so they can receive payments.

 Remember, this is for past due bills not future bills.

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