Evictions resume as thousands of Rhode Islanders look for assistance

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- The Rhode Island Coalition to end Homelessness estimates that 40,000 residents will be affected by the lift of the federal moratorium on evictions.

Warwick resident Tina Amaral is one of them.

Tina was injured in a severe motorcycle accident and has been out of work since.

“It’s been a lot of surgeries…about 13 or 14 and I have a lot more to go,” Amaral said.

Medical bills and other pandemic impacts have put her thousands of dollars behind in rent she is now facing eviction.

“I’m about $5,000 behind. I can’t pay my rent obviously and everything just got tough and I couldn’t get help.”

Tina and many other Rhode Island residents in similar situations have applied for rent relief through  rihousing

The state has teamed up with them to provide $200 million in rent relief funds from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

On a case-by-case basis, this program will provide rental and utility relief payments to help maintain housing stability.

Christine Hunsinger, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at rihousing,  said applicants can be eligible for up to $40,000 in relief.

“We’ve got quite a few people who have been paid out and their problem has been handled. Over 13-hundred families have been handled already so the folks we’re talking to now are nervous but their process is being reviewed and should they be deemed eligible, help is on the way.”


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