Mayor Lyda Krewson today announced that City of St. Louis residents who need help staying in their homes and keeping their utilities on during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can apply for rental and utility assistance through the State of Missouri beginning Thursday, April 1.
Information about the eligibility requirements and the application process is available online here: mohousingresources.com/safhr. Funding will be administered by the Missouri Housing Development Commission through the State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) program to provide rental and utility assistance for individuals who have been impacted financially by COVID-19.
“The past year has been an extraordinarily challenging time for many St. Louisans who continue to struggle to make ends meet through no fault of their own,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to offer this vital resource from the state to our residents. It will keep a roof over their heads, keep their utilities on, and help limit the devastation caused by facing an eviction, housing insecurity, and/or homelessness. The last thing we should be doing is putting people out on the street during a pandemic.”
Beginning April 1, eligible tenants who are City of St. Louis residents will be able to begin applying online for financial assistance that will be paid directly to their landlord and/or utility provider. Financial assistance includes rental and utility arrears for the period beginning April 2020 and up to three months of future rent and utility expenses. Total assistance any tenant receives through the SAFHR program cannot exceed a period of 12 months.
Eligibility requirements include currently residing in a residential rental property in Missouri, having a household income at or below 80% of the area median income, a demonstrated risk of housing instability or homelessness without assistance, one or more individuals in the household receiving unemployment benefits and/or experiencing a reduction in household income due to COVID-19, and a requested amount of assistance that represents the tenant’s portion of rent or utilities that has not been and will not be paid by any other source.
Last year, the City committed more than $7 million in federal CARES Act funding to establish a new rental and mortgage assistance program. Of the more than 9,000 applications received, the City and its partner agencies have processed more than 7,000 of them to date. All efforts remain underway to continue processing applications and getting rental assistance out into the community to families and individuals who need it.
The City is also utilizing the $9 million it received directly from the United States Treasury in December 2020 to continue providing financial assistance to applicants. The City is working with the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court to monitor and prioritize residents with an active case on the eviction docket.
If you have already applied to the City’s rental assistance program, please know that our team is continuing to review your application in the order it was received. Partner agency representatives will contact you using the email, phone number, or additional contact information you provided on your application.
If you have NOT applied to the City’s assistance program and you are a tenant who needs rental or utility assistance, you are able to apply online to the SAFHR program beginning Thursday, April 1. If you are unable to apply online because you don’t have a computer or you need help with your application, please call (833) 541-1599 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.