Thousands eligible  for $2 million in assistance

Thousands of East Tennesseans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic could be eligible for federal assistance to help pay their rent, mortgage payments and utility bills.

The $1.7 million of funds are just in time to help residents of a 16-county region in East Tennessee and come through a grant approved by the Tennessee Department of Human Services and its Tennessee Community CARES Program.

Clinch-Powell RC&D and HomeSource—both not-for-profit Community Housing Development Organizations—are administering the assistance available to thousands of people affected directly or indirectly by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Public health officials have identified more than 20,000 cases of COVID-19 in the 16-county East Tennessee region since March with more than 200 deaths reported so far. Survivors and their families also have experienced job loss and other financial challenges putting them behind on their rent or mortgage payments and unable to pay utility bills.

Clinch-Powell and HomeSource East Tennessee are offering the assistance at no cost.

Those who have been