March 4, 2021
Help for families struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic is available through a new program launched by the City of Kansas City. Today, the City announced that $4.5 million is immediately available for Kansas Citians needing rental or utility relief. This Emergency Rental Assistance Program will help tenants get caught up on past due rent and utility bills. The program is part of a $14.8 million funding package that has been approved by the City Council and made possible with federal funding from the stimulus package passed by Congress in December.
“While we fight this pandemic, I remain committed to helping every Kansas City family and every Kansas City child remain in their homes,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “Today, I am proud to announce another round of funding to provide emergency rental and utility assistance for those who need it. Still, there is much more to be done, and we will continue our work to help keep people in their homes, connect those who need it with long-term housing, job training services, and more, to help keep Kansas Citians warm, healthy, and safe.”
“This direct financial assistance is one of the many ways we are working to bring much needed relief and support to the people of Kansas City,” said City Manager Brian Platt. “Our residents will see us continue to expand programs that help people stay in their homes, help small businesses stay open, and help our city recover from the current economic crisis.”
Tenants can start by filling out a brief registration form to report the amount of assistance needed. Later you will be asked to complete a full application and provide supporting documentation related to your identification, household income and financial need. The funds will be distributed through the community in a fair, fast and equitable way by several community agencies.
The City has finalized contracts with five local agencies to provide immediate financial relief to residents struggling to meet their day-to-day housing needs. This initial money is earmarked specifically for rental/utility assistance. The first five receiving funding are:
“This rent and utility assistance comes at a time where many people in our city are facing eviction and utility shut offs,” said Susie Roling of Journey for New Life. “We have helped over 200 families with this assistance. We are excited and eager to do more to help the most vulnerable of our community.”
Additional agencies will soon be on-board to help distribute the emergency assistance citywide. A complete list of agencies and their contact information can be found at KCMO.gov/renthelp.
“The COVID relief funds are being distributed through existing community agencies because they specialize in providing these services and know how to effectively help those who need immediate help,” said John A. Wood, assistant city manager and director of the City’s Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department (NHSD).
This press release was produced by the City of Kansas City. The views expressed here are the author’s own.