City Council passed an ordinance Monday approving an emergency relief grant program for secure housing for Athens residents.

This program will grant up to $1,000 to eligible residents in order to help prevent eviction. Up to $25,000 will be given to Hocking Athens Perry Community Action, or HAPCAP, and will be awarded to applicants through this organization. 

Applicants will need to provide proof of lost income as well as a past-due mortgage or rent payment to be eligible for this grant, according to a previous Post report.

Councilwoman Beth Clodfelter, D-At Large, thanked Athens Mayor Steve Patterson for connecting the Council with HAPCAP so they can help Athens residents through this program.

“We may be able to bail people out of really, really difficult situations and help them to be able to stay in their own homes,” Clodfelter said.

Patterson said information about these grants should be distributed to landlords and tenants as quickly as possible so that people can prevent having to go through eviction proceedings. 

“It’s paramount for that information to get out before it even gets to the proceedings level …  because under that process someone could still be evicted, so any relief would really not help them at that point in time,” Patterson said.

Council also passed an ordinance that authorizes the mayor to enter into a lease extension agreement with The United Seniors of Athens County through July 31, 2021. This will provide exclusive use of office space for seniors in the community center.