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DeKalb County Judge Issues Emergency 60-Day Moratorium on Evictions

CEO Thurmond to propose larger payments to landlords

             DeKalb County Superior Court Chief Judge Asha Jackson signed an
emergency judicial order on Friday, July 30, 2021, creating a countywide eviction
moratorium for 60 days following the expiration of the CDC moratorium.
“This emergency order is a Godsend,” CEO Thurmond said. “Without this local
extension to the CDC moratorium, thousands of DeKalb residents faced the stark reality
of having their belongings set out on the street in the midst of surging COVID-19
infection rates.” CEO Thurmond continued, “I am aware that this extension will increase the financial
burden and stress on landlords, especially our mom-and-pop owners.”
On Aug. 3, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond will present to the DeKalb Board of
Commissioners a revised rental reimbursement proposal that would pay landlords 100
percent of all past due rent up to 12 months and three months prospective rents for
eligible tenants.

             According to Judge Jackson’s order, the judicial emergency declaration in the Stone
Mountain Judicial Circuit is authorized pursuant to O.C.G.A. §38-3-61 because of the
“continued COVID-19 public health emergency and cyberattack on the TLAC (Tenant-
Landlord Assistance Coalition) program which delayed relief targeted at parties to
dispossessory proceedings.” The current TLAC policy caps the amount of past-due rent that can be paid to landlords
at 60 percent of the arrearages up to $10,000 and two months of prospective rent. If
adopted by the Board of Commissioners, this revision will address a major complaint
that has been raised by some landlords and tenant advocates.

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Originally launched in February, TLAC designed to provide financial relief to DeKalb
renters threatened by eviction and landlords facing revenue losses due to the COVID-
19 pandemic. On March 24, 2021, DeKalb County’s Department of Innovation and Technology was
informed by federal agents of an international cyberattack that impacted TLAC.
Due to the cyberattack and the ongoing federal investigation, the county did not have
access to pending applications, emails or documents submitted to TLAC prior to the
date of the attack. The TLAC application process was reopened on a more secure platform on June 21,

          As of July 29, TLAC has distributed $3.45 million, or 11 percent, of the $31 million that
was allocated for rental and utility assistance to 763 DeKalb households. Since the
relaunch, the county has paid out approximately $460,000 per week in assistance.
There are currently 1,657 pending applications that have submitted by tenants and
landlords. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, as of July 30, 1,366 cases of
COVID-19 were detected in DeKalb County in the last two weeks, nearly tripling over
the two weeks ending July 23 when there were 496 cases. In Georgia, there were
21,995 COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks, up from 11,859 cases over the two
weeks ending July 23.