Cupid touts Cobb’s rental aid distribution
Sept. 26 – As other municipalities across the country struggle to distribute federal rent assistance money, Cobb has nearly exhausted his, and his model is “to be proud of,” commissioners, Lisa Cupid.
In the final installment of her weekly interview with county communications director Ross Cavitt, Cupid was asked about rental assistance, the renewal of an emergency declaration she originally signed in August, and a pair of controversial zoning cases that came to council earlier in the week.
Cavitt noted that three in five nonprofits with the distribution of Cobb’s Federal Rent Assistance money, or ERA1, are nearly through their allowance.
“It says a lot about what we do here compared to what we see in other jurisdictions,” he said.
The U.S. Treasury Department noted on Friday that, up to the end of August, only $ 7.7 billion of the $ 46.5 billion made available to local governments through ERA1 had been distributed. By mid-September, Cobb had distributed two-thirds of its $ 22 million ERA1 allocation, the MDJ previously reported. On Tuesday, he will consider investing an additional $ 6.5 million in the program using money from ERA2.
“I think we have a role model that we can be proud of, and it’s certainly frustrating again for people to hear that and they still need housing assistance,” Cupid said, “but the number of partners that we had, not only with nonprofits but with our municipal court system, with communications to get the word out, I think all of these things working together have helped us get funds the most quickly possible. “
In other cases, Cavitt has noted that votes on two large, controversial developments that have come before council were delayed until the council’s zoning hearing in October.
In northeast Cobb, Pulte Home Builders has proposed to build a 100-home subdivision on Ebenezer Road, while North Point Ministries would like to build a church, 95 homes and townhouses, and retail at the intersection of Johnson Ferry and Shallowford routes.
“Certainly we want to settle cases, so there can be a certain sense of finality, but we want to make the best possible decision with a certain sense of finality,” said Cupid. “There are some things that were discovered… last Tuesday that gave Commissioners a break from finalizing these cases.”
This week, Cupid extended his declaration of emergency originally signed on August 19 when coronavirus cases skyrocketed in Cobb. The statement
Regarding its declaration of emergency, initially signed on August 19 as coronavirus cases skyrocketed in Cobb, maintains use of the county’s emergency operations plan, which helps funnel resources to local communities. local hospitals, state agencies and other organizations that may have a need for equipment and supplies. It also encourages vaccination and the wearing of masks in public, as well as virtual participation in public meetings.
“We are very lucky to see the number of COVID drop, but the reality is that even between the first emergency order and the second, there has been an increase of more than 200 cases in the rate of transmission,” said Cupid, “and So we want to make sure our participants are safe and give them that (virtual) option, so they don’t all crowd into this room” where the council of commissioners meets.