Nearly three months after its rent/utilities payment assistance program for residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic was shut down by a cyberattack, DeKalb County is reopening its application process.
Also known as the county’s tenant-landlord assistance coalition, it will accept new applications again starting June 21.
“This cyberattack will not deter us from fulfilling our mission of providing rental assistance to the tenants and landlords who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said in a news release.
The program was launched in February and was created to give financial relief to DeKalb renters threatened by eviction and landlords facing revenue losses due to the outbreak. The coalition program will reopen June 21, at 8:30 a.m. to new applicants and anyone who previously applied but did not receive assistance. Anyone who already applied but has not been contacted by a coalition agent must reapply for aid.
The relaunched program will include a secure platform for submitting required documents. Also, the county has more than doubled the staffing for the program, from 30 to 62. As of June 14, 237 applicants have been served and more than $908,000 has been distributed. About $21 million has been allocated for the program.
March 24, federal agents told DeKalb’s Department of Innovation and Technology about an international cyberattack that affected the coalition program. Emails or applications previously sent to firstname.lastname@example.org were included on the server that was compromised and are unrecoverable.
April 1, the county announced a criminal investigation into the cyberattack had begun. For more information about the coalition program, visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov/renthelp or call 404-371-3201.