St. Louis County to Offer Rental Assistance to Pandemic Sufferers

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The pandemic has hit hard all sections of society. The good news is that government bodies have sprung to action providing much-needed relief to those suffering financial hardship. Saint Louis County has two distinct programs in place to provide rental assistance to pandemic sufferers.

The City of Saint Louis' CARES Act funding has been allocated to pandemic sufferers. $5.4 million has been allocated to assist residents with rental and mortgage payments. The Department of Human Services has established this rental and mortgage assistance program. It is in collaboration with the Affordable Housing Commission. Various housing organizations have also supported the initiative. According to this initiative, all assistance would be provided directly to the landlord or lender. The applications can be made directly online through email or indirectly by calling 314-657-1650. In that case, you have to provide your email ID and request that the application be sent to you via email.

Since this week, tenants and landlords struggling with financial hardships during the pandemic are liable to lay claim on the $29.7 million assistance program. Saint Louis County Executive Sam Page confirmed these developments. He also announced that a call center would be opened this week to gather information and clarify doubts. The number for this call center is 314-806-0910.

Eligibility

All tenants and landlords in St. Louis county are eligible to apply for the relief package. The only criteria are that you must have suffered from a loss of income during the pandemic. Those qualified for unemployment during the pandemic are also eligible. Residents have to furnish evidence of their financial hardship during the pandemic at the assigned call center number. The page also confirmed that the eligibility criteria for back rents include only those accumulated after March 2020.

However, according to Community First Plus+, a housing advocacy group based in St. Louis, giving a check is not going to be sufficient. Myisha Johnson, the co-director of the group, was speaking on occasion. She said that it is expected that the Government would be available to assist people when they fall on hard times. This is especially true "when the reason is beyond their control."

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Johnson has been very vocal on the issue. She was also heard saying that leaders should come together to implement a long-term plan to help families break the cycle of back rent. According to her, a lot should come together to find proper relief from this crisis. She was talking about the full circle of counselling, housing, and jobs. "Otherwise, a lot of people will be lost," she was heard saying. Her organization, Community First Plus+, wants the City of Saint Louis to set aside a fund amount to pay the rents for those struggling with the pandemic.

A St. Louis County spokesperson clarified that the relief for future rent program is available and currently distributed three months at a time. To access it, one must head over to the website STLcorona.com. There, you would find a button providing 'Emergency Rental Assistance Program' on the homepage. Click it to file your claim for the program.

Unemployment Insurance

If you want to file for unemployment insurance in Missouri, you can either use your Missouri Access Debit Card or through a Direct Deposit to your bank account. The Department of Labor & Industrial Relations advises people to apply for Direct Deposit right now due to the Missouri Access Debit Card's long waiting time. The status of your unemployment claim can be checked at the UInteract website. For any card-related queries, you can head over to www.mo-access.com.

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