City of St. Louis residents who have fallen behind on paying their rent and utilities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for financial assistance from a new pool of funds.
$7.5 million in federal Emergency Rental Assistance funding from the U.S. Treasury Department remains available through a new program called “STL City ERA 1”.
“The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the inequities that families and residents of St. Louis face, including the threat of eviction through no fault of their own. This program ensures those families can keep a roof over their head and their utilities on, and limits the devastating effects of eviction, housing insecurity, unemployment, and illness and other hardships they are suffering,” said Mayor Jones.
These Treasury funds are only the first round of rental assistance under the Biden Administration. The City of St. Louis anticipates the receipt of additional rental assistance funding within the next few months, under “STL City ERA 2.” The goal is to distribute the funds to eligible residents as quickly as possible, in order to stabilize households facing eviction. In addition, the City is working with the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court to monitor and prioritize residents who are currently in court facing eviction.
Beginning May 20, eligible renters in the City of St. Louis will be able to apply for financial assistance that will be paid directly to the landlord and/or utility provider. Funds can be utilized to cover a tenant’s documented past-due rent or utility payments, only for the time period after March 2020, and payments cannot exceed 12 months of assistance. Funds cannot be utilized to provide mortgage assistance.
Eligibility requirements include:
- Currently residing in a residential property in the City of St. Louis,
- Having a household income at or below 80% of the area median income,
- Having a demonstrated risk of housing instability or homelessness without assistance, and
- One or more individuals in the household currently experiencing a reduction in household income.
ERA 1 funding is separate from rental assistance provided by the State of Missouri’s State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) program for tenants and landlords. City of St. Louis residents who have recently applied for assistance through the SAFHR program are not eligible for assistance from both SAFHR and STL City ERA 1.
Tenants in the City of St. Louis who have not applied to the MO SAFHR program and still need rental or utility assistance can apply online via the Department of Human Services page on the City’s website. Those who are unable to apply online and need help with their applications can call the United Way by dialing 2-1-1 or (800) 427-4626. Those who need an application mailed to them can contact the Dept. of Human Services at (314) 657-1650.