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Local Advocacy Groups Seek Increased Funding for Chattanooga Eviction Prevention

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Local Advocacy Groups Seek Increased Funding for Chattanooga Eviction Prevention

Presentations Made to City Council Propose an Additional $325,000 for Eviction Assistance Program

Chattanooga, TN: In an attempt to maintain continuous legal assistance for an escalating number of households confronting dislocation in Chattanooga, local advocacy consortia approached the City Council on Tuesday, advocating for an escalation of over $325,000 for eviction prevention initiatives in the forthcoming yearly city budget.

The Addressing Eviction Crisis initiative was initially endorsed through a sizable $1.5 million investment in COVID-19 relief funds in 2021. The additional backing from local groups would largely fortify the initiative and broaden its reach.

Over 515 Households and Over 800 Children Helped Since Inception

From October 2021 to March 2024, more than 515 households and over 800 children in the surrounding area have escaped eviction, courtesy of the initiative. This data was provided by Legal Aid of East Tennessee and the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, the two collaborations that made the case to the Council on Tuesday.

Intensified eviction filings have added increased strain on legal aid services, prompting the need for amplified funding. Rising rental costs and aggregated economic burdens have left many local residents grappling with potential evictions, making eviction prevention a necessary focus for community organizations and city officials.

Supporting the Community Amid Mounting Economic Challenges

Equipping Chattanooga residents with applicable legal representation was a crucial element of this initiative. By supplementing the city’s eviction mitigation organ, the continued funding would capacitate more households to access indispensable legal aid, reducing the likelihood of mass displacements.

The impetus behind these augmented funding requests lies in the disturbing trend of accelerated eviction filings throughout the city districts. As unemployment levels fluctuate and the economic pressure from the lingering effects of the pandemic continue, local households are finding themselves more frequently at risk.

Next Steps for City Council

The City Council members will now evaluate the proposal presented by the local organizations. A decision on whether or not to boost the budget for eviction prevention is to be made in the up and coming annual budget discussions. If approved, the funding would go a long way to strengthen and expand current efforts to maintain housing stability for Chattanooga citizens.

This critical call to action by local organizations highlights the ongoing housing challenges many communities continue to face in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The potential for eviction poses a significant threat to household stability and community cohesion, emphasizing the need for extended and expanded eviction prevention initiatives.

Source: HERE News Network

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