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Tenants face eviction while waiting for Our Florida rental assistance payments

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) -Natasha Miller is a single mother trying to provide stable housing for herself and her 5-year-old-son. But she says she’s on the verge of losing her apartment, and she blames the state of Florida.

Miller was approved for four months worth of rent payments through the state-run Our Florida rental assistance program, and she thought that would be her lifeline. She hasn’t received one payment yet and the last payment was supposed to come for May’s rent.

“I can’t get a hold of a caseworker and when you go down to the office to make an appointment, the appointments are booked out all the way until May,” Miller said.

Natasha said she’s been told that if her past-due rent isn’t paid this month, she’ll be evicted, and she’s not alone.

Even though the state says it has awarded families with over a billion dollars in the past year, a steady stream of viewers are calling Better Call Behnken, saying they have been approved but either haven’t received any payment or explanation. Some say the state claims checks were sent, but they didn’t receive them.

Investigator Shannon Behnken reached out to the spokesperson for Our Florida but has not heard back. We will continue to press the state for answers.

In the meantime, if you are facing eviction and have been approved for this assistance, it is recommended to respond to the eviction in court and show the judge your acceptance paperwork. In many cases, the judge will hold off on eviction to give tenants more time to collect the state money.

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