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Kansas City is getting $25 million in rental assistance funding. Here's what you need to know

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas unveils the Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance Program during a press conference in March.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas unveils the Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance Program during a news conference last March.

The Kansas City Council approved an ordinance appropriating $25 million in COVID relief funding for the city's Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Kansas City renters struggling to pay rent amid the COVID pandemic will soon have access to more relief after the Kansas City Council appropriated $25 million in COVID relief funding.

The money will be used to help eligible residents catch up on rent and utility bills and provide case management to households facing eviction.

It’s the largest allocation of funds to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program since it was first established last spring, when the city received $14.8 million in federal funding for the program. Last fall, the city received another $11.7 million.

What does the Emergency Rental Assistance Program help with? 

The program helps households pay off current or past-due rent or utility bills for up to 12 months, plus three additional months of future rent. Past-due bills are accepted dating back to April 1, 2020.

Who is eligible for emergency assistance?

Renters in Kansas City, Missouri, who must prove they were financially impacted by the pandemic and are at risk of homelessness. Eligible residents must have a household income of no more than 80% of the area median income.

Who receives the money? 

Once applications are approved, the payments are sent to the resident’s landlord or utility company.

How much funding has been spent so far?

According to city officials, the city has spent $19.6 million in emergency rental assistance so far, helping 4,231 households. City data also shows that, on average, households received aid covering six to seven months of rent and bills.

Where can I apply? 

You can apply online by going to the city’s website and uploading documents including a form of identification, proof of income and a statement showing the amount you owe in rent or utilities.

Residents who need help with their application can make an appointment at the city’s Emergency Rental Assistance Center at 4400 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. or by calling 816-513-4501.

The Center is open by appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

As KCUR’s Missouri politics and government reporter, it’s my job to show how government touches every aspect of our lives. I break down political jargon so people can easily understand policies and how it affects them. My work is people-forward and centered on civic engagement and democracy. I hold political leaders and public officials accountable for the decisions they make and their impact on our communities. Follow me on Twitter @celisa_mia or email me at celisa@kcur.org.
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