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Emergency Aid receives grant to help people avoid eviction

In 13 days, on Sept. 1, the moratorium on evictions for those paying rent or mortgages, established in March as part of the emergency directives related to COVID-19 by Gov. Steve Sisolak, will expire.

But there is hope for those who continue to face financial hardships as a result of the pandemic.

Emergency Aid of Boulder City has received special COVID-related grants to help local residents pay their rent, mortgage or essential utilities, said Claudia Bridges, grant coordinator for the nonprofit.

“I honestly believe that there should be nobody in Boulder City who should have to worry about being evicted Sept. 1,” she said.

According to Bridges, Emergency Aid received $103,000 through the CARES Housing Assistance Program to help people remain in their homes. To receive the assistance, applicants must have verifiable proof that they have been impacted by COVID-19.

Bridges said this can include being laid off, furloughed, fired or had their hours cut, or owning a business and being unable to work. Applicants also have to show they have suffered a considerable loss of savings.

“They can’t have more than $2,000 in liquid assets,” she said.

The grants will cover as much as nine months in rent, mortgage or utility payments, dating back to April 19, she added, noting that the payments are made directly to the landlord, lender or service provider.

Applicants also have to contact their local utility providers to see if they can qualify for reduced rates.

While there haven’t been many requests yet for housing assistance, Bridges said she thinks the need will grow.

“I think going forward, we will see people in September or October who had careers and will be out of work,” she said. “These will be those in the service industry, entertainers, culinary members — people who thought they were safe.

“We have seen the beginning of it, but I think we will have people affected in Boulder City.”

Those who need assistance with their housing costs, can make an appointment by calling Emergency Aid at 702-293-0332 between 9 a.m. and noon weekdays except Wednesday, or leaving a message.

Emergency Aid was one of about 12 agencies in Clark County to receive the CHAPS grants, said Bridges, who resigned from the nonprofit’s board when she was elected to City Council but volunteers on an as-needed basis.

For those who don’t need assistance to help pay for housing but have other needs, Bridges said Emergency Aid has other funds available as well as a fully stocked pantry.

“Our pantry is stocked to the brim. There’s not room for one more can of Spaghetti-Os,” she said, noting they have fresh produce and other perishable items. “It does surprise me that more people are not taking advantage of the food pantry.”

In addition to letting the community know about the assistance available, Bridges said the nonprofit could use volunteers to help process paperwork and work in the pantry.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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