A program offering rent and utility payment help to lower- and middle-income Atlanta residents affected by the pandemic now will help with mortgage payments as well. And the benefits have been boosted from $3,000 to $5,000.

The joint program from the city and the United Way of Greater Atlanta was announced in August and is based on a $22 million fund. It was originally announced as targeted at residents making 60% or less of the area median income prior to March 1. But now the website says it applies to those currently making up to 80% of AMI. As examples, that means income of $46,320 a year for a single renter or $57,900 for a single homeowner; and up to $66,160 a year for a four-person renter household or up to $82,700 a year for a four-person homeowner household.

Those applying for the money will have to provide documentation about their identity, their income, their loss of income caused by the pandemic, and the amount needed based on past-due bills.

With the increase in benefits, the city said in a press release that prior applicants are encouraged to reapply.

The program must approve all applications by Dec. 30, so people are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

For more information, see relief.uwga.org, call 211 or text “C19-ERA.”

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.