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Reeves ends COVID-19 program that provides free rent, utility bill payments

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves
Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

Governor Tate Reeves has released plans to terminate a federal program that offers up to 15 months of free rent and utility bill payments in Mississippi.

On August 15, the Mississippi Home Corporation — also referred to as the Rental Assistance for Mississippians Program — will stop accepting applications for aid in rent and utility bill payments.

Initially, the federal government’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program was designed to help those who experienced hardship caused by COVID-19. Now, Reeves believes the program’s second tranche of funding has strayed from its original purpose as it no longer requires applicants to provide proof that they cannot pay their rent or utility bills due to COVID-19.

Reeves also attributed the decision to end the program to Mississippi’s current economic state, saying that he aims to return to pre-pandemic policies.

“Mississippi isn’t afraid to make hard decisions to improve our workforce participation. That’s what we’re doing today,” said Reeves. “Mississippi will continue to say no to these types of liberal handouts that encourage people to stay out of the workforce. Instead, we’re going to say yes to conservative principles and policies that result in more people working.”

Today’s announcement only applies to applications that have not yet been submitted.

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