The THA Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development, through its secretary, is publicly appealing to landlords on the island to delay evicting tenants who have applied for help with their rent to the Tobago House of Assembly.
Reading correspondence from Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine, senior corporate communications officer of the division Rion George made the appeal at last Thursday’s virtual news conference hosted by the division.
George said: “These are tough times for persons who are renting, who have lost jobs and businesses and need to keep a roof over their heads and their families. We continue to provide support through the rental assistance, but we want to make a special plea to the landlords – if your tenant has applied to the division for rental assistance, we encourage you to hold your hand a bit to avoid eviction."
George said the division is processing hundreds of applications and it takes some time to verify the paperwork.
“Sometimes it may take a little longer than expected. We assure members of the public that our team is doing all that we can. "You can help by providing information, as the landlord, in a timely manner so we can move the process a little faster, but...sometimes the information that is been kept back is information from the landlords themselves, but that lengthens the process.”
He added that there “is no set time frame, as there may be moving parts during the covid19 pandemic” but said the division was trying to make the payments in the shortest possible time.
“So please, landlords, I know everyone is affected, but as you evict someone, that is a family that goes without a roof over their head.”