At the end of spring the Kansas City metro is looking at a return to MASSIVE evictions and utility shutoffs despite the demands of protesters.
Over the course of the pandemic, activists aligned with KC Tenants have attempted to shut down the downtown Jackson County Courthouse and stop eviction proceedings. For the most part they have been successful and lauded by local progressives.
However, amid global economic devastation caused by the pandemic, neither protest nor public assistance will prevent thousands of locals from losing their homes.
Here's a noteworthy effort the Courthouse today that hopes to prevent a horrific disaster already in the making . . .
Jackson County Executive proposes $11.5 million rental assistance program
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. is announcing today a proposal that would provide millions of dollars to assist eligible households in Jackson County outside of Kansas City that are unable to pay current and past due rent and utility bills because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, Ordinance 5493 would authorize the use of $11,550,205 in grant monies the County received from the federal government to launch an Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The program would provide financial assistance and housing stability services to Eastern Jackson County families struggling financially. Households facing imminent eviction would receive priority assistance.
The Community Services League and United Way of Greater Kansas City have formed a collaborative partnership to implement and administer the County’s program.
“Many families are in dire need of help and this is our opportunity to provide a lifeline to them during these challenging times,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “I am grateful for our local partners who share our commitment of housing stability and will assist us in getting these critical dollars to those in need as quickly as possible.”
Eligible households include renters who demonstrate a risk of experiencing housing instability, have seen their income reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and earn a household income at or below 80% of the county median income. Once approved, eligible individuals may receive up to 12 months of assistance. Rental and utility assistance payments are made directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the tenant.
Funding applications will be available after the program is approved by the County Legislature. More information about the program including eligibility requirements, an application checklist and to sign-up to be notified when the application portal is open, can be found at www.jacksoncountyerap.org. Detailed program information is also readily available for Spanish-speaking families at www.jacksoncountyerap.org/espanol.
The $11.5 million grant is part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which established a $25 billion Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program for state, county and municipal governments. The amount of funding received is based on the County’s population, excluding the City of Kansas City, MO.
KCMO received its own grant funding of $14.8 million directly from the federal government and is administering its own rental assistance program for households within city limits.
Developing . . .