Tracking progress of KCMO's Emergency Rental Assistance Center

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Posted at 4:30 AM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 07:51:58-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Leaders in Kansas City, Missouri’s Neighborhoods and Community Services Department have shared data from the first week and a half of its new emergency rental assistance center.

In six working days since opening the center on Sept.17, 2021, the group has seen 147 residents, helped stop at least 12 evictions and received an average of 200 calls per day.

In March, the city received about $14 million in federal assistance to distribute for rent and utility payments. With the help of the center, the city has awarded 85% of that money, with the average recipient receiving $4,000 in assistance.

The city received a second batch of federal funding for this program which allowed it to open the center.

“We’ve been able to assist families which is exciting," Davitta Hanson, a city employee working in the center said. "[We've helped] Dry some tears for some people who were feeling hopeless. I believe the first week has been excellent."

KC Tenants, a group advocating for tenant rights, sent the city manager a list of demands Saturday for how the city should handle federal funding meant for rental assistance. A city spokesperson said the city manager is scheduling a time to meet with KC Tenants.

The city would like to remind people to schedule an appointment in advance and not show up. There is also an assistance application residents should fill out before their appointment. Face masks are required during appointments.

Qualifying residents will not receive a check from the city during their appointment, but will be put in contact with an agency who can work directly with their landlord or utility company to complete payments.

To schedule an appointment and review eligibility requirements, visit the city’s website or call 816-513-4501.

The emergency rental assistance center is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. It’s also open on Thursdays from 1 to 6 p.m. The center will also accept appointments the next two Saturdays, October 2 and 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.