Cobb County offers eviction diversion program to limit evictions

The program will provide both financial assistance and resources on how to prevent eviction for Cobb County residents.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. – The Cobb County Board of Commissioners has set aside $750,000 from federal rental assistance funds Tuesday for their proposed Eviction Diversion Program. The program will provide both financial assistance and resources to Cobb residents to help prevent evictions.

The program, which is expected to launch later this year or early next year, will allow tenants and tenants to voluntarily apply for assistance, according to Cobb County Chief Magistrate Judge Brendan F. Murphy. .

Murphy explained that the program would focus on the root of the problem for families facing eviction.

“Tenants would have access to housing assistance, and they would also have access to try to help work through some of the underlying causes that brought them to eviction court,” he told 11Alive. .

The help provided would include resources such as financial literacy, life skills, job training, application skills, resume skills and addictions counselling.

Funding comes from millions of dollars in federal rental assistance that the county has been receiving since March 2020.

The Cobb County Board of Commissioners voted on the distribution of approximately $4.7 million of the $5.4 million he received last month at the four nonprofit groups that currently administer the program on Tuesday.

The county is also expected to receive an additional allocation from the federal government.

The program, officials say, is meant to offer a long-term solution rather than immediate rental assistance and will have more requirements than the federal rental assistance program.

Murphy told 11Alive that even before the pandemic, Cobb County courts saw about 20,000 eviction applications a year, with many families finding themselves in eviction court month after month trying to make ends meet.

Murphy said the program aims to provide resources to help families become self-sufficient and avoid first-time eviction, which makes it harder to secure housing or have a home in the future.

A final vote to fund the new program is expected in several months.

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