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Program to help renters before it's too late

Wealth Watchers is a housing counseling agency that offers renters and landlord rights workshops.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It's an issue that affects thousands of people on the First Coast and millions of Americans: rising rent costs. 

According to realtor.com rent in Duval County has risen 20% in just the last year.

However, there is a local organization that wants to educate renters in Jacksonville about financial planning when it comes to renting.

We see "For Rent" signs all over the community, but what about people struggling to pay their rent? 

Before running into a possible eviction situation, the organization Wealth Watchers is here to help.

"At Wealth Watchers our counselors will sit down with renters to go over what their rights are as renters," said Wealth Watchers President and CEO Carrie Davis.

Wealth Watchers is a HUD certified housing counseling agency that provides a number of services, one of which is financial education for renters to determine what they can actually afford, as well as find ways to reach their financial goals. 

"We want to ensure that whether you're a home owner or renter that you're not paying over 30% of your income towards housing," said Davis, "anything over 30% is what we call a house burden."

Davis says her organization provides renters, as well as landlords, with information and ways to navigate the sometimes difficult and confusing path of programs like OurFL and ERAP before a renter is in desperate need of those programs.

"The key is to get assistance and not suffer in silence and don't wait until the last minute," said Davis, "our counselors are here and available to assist and help identify those resources that will keep those individuals in their homes."

These educational tools come in the form of group workshops and even 1-on-1 counseling so Jacksonville's residents can stay in their homes.  

If you would like to utilize services that Wealth Watchers provides you can call them at (904) 265-4736 or visit their website: https://www.wealthwatchersfl.org/

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