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New program will pay housing costs for Knoxville residents affected by COVID-19

Knoxville residents who have lost their source of income or are unable to work due to the pandemic will qualify.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A new program through the City of Knoxville will help renters and homeowners who have been affected by COVID-19 make their current and overdue housing payments.

Knoxville residents who have lost their job or source of income due to the pandemic or are unable to work after being diagnosed or having to quarantine because of the virus will qualify for the Housing Assistance Program, according to a statement by the city announcing the program on Monday.

RELATED: Knox Co. reports 494 total COVID-19 cases with 96 active cases and 393 recoveries

“Many Knoxville residents have lost jobs and income due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Housing and Neighborhood Development Director Becky Wade said in the statement.

“Working with our community housing partners to quickly distribute these funds supports the City’s ongoing efforts to keep people in their homes and prevent homelessness," she added.

RELATED: Knoxville's homeless will have a safe place if showing coronavirus symptoms

The city received about $1.55 million in federal coronavirus relief funding from the CARES Act. Part of that money will go towards funding the new Housing Assistance Program, and some will be used for homeless emergency shelter services and Mobile Meals, according to the statement.

The city also said the additional money for the program came from add-ons to the annual federal Community Development Block Grant and Emergency Solutions Grant.

The goal of the program is to help about 570 renter households and 140 homeowner households make payments, according to the statement.

The city said residents who are interested or think they qualify can call 2-1-1 to ask about the program, as well as additional community resources available, including food and utilities assistance.