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St. Louis County to offer rental assistance for those affected by pandemic

You are eligible for relief if you’ve experienced a loss of income, qualified for unemployment or experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis County tenants and landlords struggling during the pandemic can get a piece of the $29.7 million in assistance starting next week.

On Monday, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said a call center will open later in the week to help gather information and answer questions. The number is (314)806-0910. 

You are eligible for relief if you’ve experienced a loss of income, qualified for unemployment or experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic.

“This program is eligible to residents and landlords to apply,” Page said. “But the back rent that is eligible is only rents after March of 2020.”

Community First Plus+, a housing advocacy group, said a check isn’t enough.

“The government should be there to help people when they fall on hard times,” said Myisha Johnson, the co-director of the group. “Especially when the reason is beyond their control."

Johnson said she wants leaders to implement a long-term plan to help families break the cycle.

“Full circle, counseling, housing, jobs,” Johnson said. “They are going to have to put it all together to sustain the families and communities. Otherwise a lot of people will be lost."

Relief for future rent is available and distributed three months at a time according to a St. Louis County spokesperson. Head to Stlcorona.com and hit the “Emergency Rental Assistance Program” button on the homepage.

Community First Plus+ also wants the city of St. Louis to set aside funds to help with rent for those struggling through the pandemic.

Head to https://www.fsmonline.org/our-impact/community-first-plus/ for more information on Community First Plus+ or send an email to info@communityfirstplus.org.

Both Missouri and Illinois offer relief.

Missouri:

Assistance for eligible owners of rental property is available through the MHDC Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).  The program provides a one-time payment of up to 6 months of rental arrears. This is a landlord-initiated application, in collaboration with the tenant.  You can find more detail on ERAP at the link below.  Should you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to respond via email and I will work with MHDC staff in order to respond as quickly as possible.

https://www.mohousingresources.com/erap-program-overview

Illinois:

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 passed by Congress in Dec. 2020 allocated $25 billion in emergency rental assistance. Of that amount, the State of Illinois received $834.7 million to help Illinois renters and housing providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is working to launch a new emergency rental assistance program later this spring to provide these funds to eligible households paid directly to the housing provider. The program is in development and a formal announcement will be coming soon. In addition, IHDA is partnering with St. Clair County to ensure Metro East renters and housing providers receive the assistance they need.

On background – Madison County received their own direct allocation ($7.79 million) and will be launching their own program according to the state.