The Collector of Revenue’s Office was a proud recipient of the East West Gateway Council of Governments Exemplary Collaboration, Partnership, or Regional Initiative Award for RETAF: Real Estate Tax Assistance Fund along with Park Central Development, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, and Prosperity Connection. In 2022, the RETAF program saved 68 homes in the City of St. Louis from tax foreclosure, impacting over 130 city residents across 33 neighborhoods.
The Real Estate Tax Assistance Fund (RETAF) was established through a partnership with the City of St. Louis Collector of Revenue, Park Central Development, Prosperity Connection, and Legal Services of Eastern Missouri in response to the needs of homeowners facing tax foreclosure.
As the result of a tax foreclosure, homeowners face loss of housing stability and erasure of equity, while neighborhoods bear the burden of population loss and increased vacancy. RETAF prevents these devastating events and keeps families in their homes by providing immediate financial assistance to owner-occupant homeowners who are at imminent risk of a tax foreclosure.
RETAF funding not only provides direct financial assistance to homeowners at risk of losing their home but also financial planning assistance. The program also benefits the community by stemming population loss, ensuring funding for schools, parks, and other crucial services, and prevents increases in vacant property that can negatively impact health, crime, and property values in neighborhoods.
Funding for the program comes from both public and private philanthropic dollars, with the City of St. Louis committing $500,000 in ARPA funds in 2022.