As the federal moratorium on evictions comes to an end Saturday, July 31, Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging residents who are struggling with rent or utility bills due to COVID-19 related financial hardship to apply for millions in federal funds through the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or through one of seven locally administered programs in Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans or St. Tammany parishes.

“It is important that our residents know that there are resources available to them if they need help with their rent or payment for their utilities,” said Gov. Edwards. “Our goal is to keep people housed during the pandemic by preventing evictions for failure to pay rent.”

The federal money is intended to cover rent and utility bills for those who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both renters and landlords may apply. In most cases, the financial assistance is paid directly to the landlord or to the utility company.

“This program is in place specifically to provide assistance that can keep people in their homes, relieve pandemic-related financial strain and help people get back on their feet,” said the Division of Administration's Assistant Commissioner of Statewide Services Desireé Honoré Thomas, CPA, CGMA. “We strongly encourage those in need to apply as soon as possible.”

To apply to the program or learn more visit LAStateRent.com or call 877-459-6555, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.