Why Have North Dakotans Not Taken Advantage of $350 Million in Rental Assistance?
Did you know that there are hundreds of millions of dollars in rental assistance currently available to North Dakotans?
According to Public News Service, "This year alone, North Dakota has received $352 million from the federal government to distribute to people behind on their rent. But so far, a little more than $3 million has been used." Public News Service cites two reasons that North Dakotans are not getting help with rent:
- Many people are entirely unaware that this rent assistance is available
- Legislature still needs to sign off on using the funds
Millions of dollars are available to North Dakota renters, but people still face homelessness.
According to AP News, about 8,000 North Dakotans are concerned about being evicted this summer - this is because of the pandemic. United States Interagency Council on Homelessness states that there are typically only 541 homeless people in North Dakota - this can be for a variety of reasons. Because of a government order, our state's homeless population is at risk of increasing by about 1,379%! Oh, and let me mention that out of approximately 111,000 cases of COVID in North Dakota, only 1,563 cases have been fatal... It kind of looks like it was riskier to stay at home and do nothing than it would have been to carry on with life as normal.
Is it really that difficult to get the funds to people facing homelessness?
I may not understand all the red tape involved, but this is going to be another countrywide pandemic if something is not done to help people. Dangling $350 million in the face of residents only to let them be forced out of their homes is pretty damn sickening and cruel. We, the people, did not choose to sit at home for the past year and a half and lose our lives and everything we have worked so hard for. People should not be punished for something the government forced them to do.
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