COVID-19 rent relief was approved, but checks haven't arrived. Now, they are facing eviction.

Murfreesboro apartment complex
Posted at 5:27 PM, Feb 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-02 21:12:35-05

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — In December, Travette Vasser was approved for COVID-19 rent relief money. However, she said her check never arrived.

"Well, we got to re-process the check. We have to re-issue it. I called this morning they said the check was in Phoenix, Arizona? So you get different answers," Vasser said.

Now she's been evicted.

“Very frustrated, and extremely sick and depressed stressed out, blood pressure is high, and I can’t take it,” Vasser said.

Zac Oswald — at the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands — said they’re getting numerous calls from people still waiting on their checks, wondering where they are.

“After you are approved for THDA rent funds, we are seeing that it could take another month, two months, for that money to make it to your landlord," Oswald said. "Or for tenants being paid directly for that money to get to them.”

He said in the meantime, renters should still go to court.

“And the fact of the matter is, THDA has received so many applications for rent relief that they’re backed up. We’re very grateful that this money is available for tenants who are being evicted, and for landlords who are still trying to be made whole from when their tenants were needing to pay during COVID,” Oswald said.

He noted that disabled tenants can also ask for a "reasonable accommodation" through their landlord until the money arrives.

"So the money that comes from the rent relief program will pay back rent for tenants all the way back to March of 2020, and then will also pay future rent until the tenants have used up 18 months," Oswald said.

But as for Travette, she fears she'll be homeless soon.

“I am disabled 100%, so having to be evicted and trying to pack up stuff without the money, and then trying to find somewhere else to go, it’s difficult for me and hard, and I can’t do it," Vasser said.

We touched base with the Tennessee Housing Development Agency spokesperson. They're looking into it.

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