Cobb Legal Aid says it is handling more cases than ever before, with thousands of people in the area facing eviction and the loss of their homes.
MARIETTA, Ga. — Legal aid officials in Cobb County are reporting an increase in conviction cases due to rising rental prices and the end of federal funding to help with rent.
A Cobb County resident, wife and mother of four is one of those facing eviction. Kat, who did not want 11Alive to use her full name, said that the court and community have been supportive,
“It makes me feel good that they are trying to help us stay in our apartments and to keep a roof over our heads because most of us have children,” she said.
Higher rental prices mean that teachers, police officers, firefighters and other lower-level professionals are finding it increasingly difficult to afford a place to live, according to Donna Ross, a services navigator with Cobb Legal Aid.
“If rent is $1700, $1800 or $1900, you do the math,” Ross said. “If you need three times that in income…It rules out lots of people,” said Donna Ross of Cobb Legal Aid.
Richard Merritt, who leads the legal aid team, said they had seen nearly 7,000 eviction cases so far this year in Cobb County, a rise of almost 600 cases from the previous year.
“What we’re finding is that we’re exceeding the number of evictions before COVID,” Merritt said. “Normally, in January, there are right at 2,000 evictions, and this year, it’s right around 2,200.”
Cobb Legal Aid operates an eviction clinic on Thursdays and Fridays each week inside the Cobb County magistrate court, which offers free services to anyone who needs help.
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