Hundreds of Jefferson Parish residents line up to apply for rental and mortgage assistance

Jefferson Parish rent, mortgage assistance

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Debra Harmon joined dozens of other Jefferson Parish residents outside the Oakdale playground Saturday to receive help applying for a one time emergency rent and mortgage assistance payment.

She says this is a last ditch effort to keep from getting evicted from her home.

“They have had understanding, but they will also still send out the paperwork to evict you,” said Harmon.

“What bought me here today is that they canceled the $600 for the unemployment, my job is still not available, and now i have to receive $100 of unemployment a week, which causes me not to be able to pay my rent.”

Some people slept in their cars in the parking lot in order to be first in line to apply to receive the Community Services Block Grant from JeffCAP or HUD tenant-based rental assistance from Jefferson Parish Department of Community Development.

But when many arrived at the door, they were told they didn’t come prepared.

“Around 9 o’clock they start opening up the door but it was moving slowly, but my thing is, I’m looking at all these old people, these elderly people that’s out here,” said Charlonde Wallace.

“They’re in the heat then at the last minute when y’all do open up, y’all going to come out with paperwork saying ya’ll have to have this that and the other.”

The sheet handed out to those in line names the documents required to fill out the application. On top of a past due letter or eviction notice, applicants must also have a state I.D. for everyone in the household over 18, proof of residence, proof of income, and the social security cards for every person living in the home.

“The website didn’t report that,” said Wallace.

“The website didn’t say that. So my thing is why are y’all coming out here with this stuff that I have to have and now I have to leave out of the line.”

With frustrations high, those in line say this should paint a picture of how desperate people are to survive through this pandemic.

“They haven’t even been seen, and they sent these people home. We need help,” said Harmon.

And with no word yet on a new stimulus bill out of Washington, these already desperate people say they’re exhausting every option they have with no end in sight.

“I mean you know unemployment done stopped,” said Wallace.

“People don’t have the finances. That was in July, when people took their money to pay their bills. This is August the 1st. So now what are people going to do?”

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