Federal aid to be used for rental assistance in Shelby County

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Paying rent could get easier for people in need because the Shelby County Commissioners decided to use $8.5 million in federal aid for rental assistance.

A Memphis woman who lost her job at the beginning of the pandemic said she is struggling to find a new one because she has underlying health conditions and is being forced to find a new home.

“I was literally was having a mini panic attack because I was like, I don’t know where I’m going to live,” said the woman.

The woman told FOX13 she is frantically searching for a new home because her landlord is putting the rental house on the market, and she only has weeks to move.

RELATED: Shelby County officials push for more rent and utility assistance

The woman didn’t want to share her face or name because she’s worried about what’s next.

“My person and I have sold plasma; we’ve done all sorts of stuff to keep up with rent,” said the woman.

She said she lost her job last March because of the pandemic and has been struggling ever since.

She and her roommates pay rent, but admittedly it’s usually late.

FOX13 asked her about a new emergency rental assistance program that has a total of $28.2 million from the U.S Treasury Department.

“I appreciate the care and thoughtfulness of it in general, but the average month, is an average working-class person, the average Memphian lives paycheck to paycheck,” said the woman.

The Program will begin on March 1st.

Potential applicants can sign up to receive live updates by clicking here or texting home901 or casa01 to 21000.

Right now, there is an eviction moratorium in place by the CDC that will last until March 31st

The Memphis Tenants Union released a statement asking for a ban on evictions and utility shut-offs during the pandemic.

The organization also asked for more relief from the government.

Right now, this woman is under a tight deadline to find a home before March.

“I’m literally in the trenches with other people who are experiencing, if not houselessness, at least housing insecurity during the pandemic,” said the woman.

FOX13 asked Commissioner Van Turner if the commission is trying to get more relief for rental assistance.

He said the commission is doing everything they can to help out.