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Missouri governor OKs pandemic relief funds for renters, landlords

Missouri governor OKs pandemic relief funds for renters, landlords

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Evictions

Ryan Gipson, right, and his fiancé Mulinah Jackson, right, empty belongings from a storage unit at the U-Haul center in Overland to take to their new apartment in University City on Jan. 20, 2021. Gipson and his family rented three storage units to hold their belongings after they were forced from their apartment over the summer. Photo by Sara Diggins, sdiggins@post-dispatch.com

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation Thursday that will make $324 million available to renters and landlords affected by the pandemic.

The new program, which is financed by federal emergency relief money, was among the first items sent to his desk this year by Missouri lawmakers.

“COVID-19’s economic impacts have created hard times for many Missourians, and we are happy to provide this immediate relief,” Parson said.

The program was approved by Congress in December 2020, making funding available to state and local governments to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is just one part of more than $3.74 billion in federal stimulus and relief money that has been funneled to Missouri since the pandemic began last year.

The program, which will be managed by the Missouri Housing Development Commission, includes up to 12 months of assistance for unpaid rent, forward rental assistance, unpaid utility bills and utility forward assistance. Utility assistance includes electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal and certain energy costs.

In St. Louis and St. Louis County, landlords have filed for almost 5,000 evictions since mid-March, when local courts suspended them, according to data compiled by the Eviction Lab, a Princeton University research project that tracks filings across the country.

Budget documents show Missouri is allocated $410 million of $25 billion that Congress approved for emergency rental assistance via this year’s Consolidated Appropriations Act.

Some of that money is going directly to cities such as St. Louis. Thursday’s action by Parson will help get the money to other parts of the state.

Additional information and the application portal can be found at www.mohousingresources.com.

The legislation is House Bill 16.(tncms-asset)b703e930-6a60-11eb-b049-00163ec2aa77[0](/tncms-asset)(tncms-asset)e89ea456-6198-11eb-97fe-00163ec2aa77[1](/tncms-asset)(tncms-asset)930db55c-55c9-11eb-86a8-00163ec2aa77[2](/tncms-asset)

Kurt Erickson • 573-556-6181 @KurtEricksonPD on Twitter kerickson@post-dispatch.com

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