SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Help is on the way to for Caddo Parish residents struggling to make rent due to financial hardships caused by COVID-19.

On Thursday, Caddo Parish Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution designating local entities with experience with housing to distribute more than $5 million in emergency rental assistance the parish expects to receive through the federal pandemic relief package passed in late December.

Those entities include Providence House, United Way of Northwest Louisiana, and the Housing Authority of Shreveport.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 established a new $25 billion Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program for state, county and municipal governments with populations of over 2000,000 people to assist families struggling to make rental and utility payments. The U.S. Department of the Treasury is setting all guidelines, qualifications, and eligibility for the program.

All payments will be made to landlords. However, if a landlord chooses not to participate, payment can be made to the individual. Relocation assistance can also be provided to help the individual find another place to stay and cover the rent with a new landlord.