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United Way of Greater KC says there's help to pay heating bill

Heating bill
Posted at 5:42 AM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 06:59:09-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The United Way of Greater Kansas City is letting people know if they're having difficulty paying bills this winter, there's help.

Arctic cold plunged temperatures into the single digits and below zero during a two-week period in early and mid-February.

As a result of the dangerous cold, heat in many homes stayed on or was increased for an extended period of time.

Todd Jordan with the United Way of Greater Kansas City said the first step for anyone looking for help is to call 211 or visit the United Way of Greater Kansas City's website.

"I would anticipate both not only through the rest of this month, but then as we get into March and April, as some of the more current moratoriums that are out there begin to expire, we're going to see a massive upswing in demand," he said.

Jordan explained there's a lot of money between the public and private sector to help people. However, the advice for anyone needing assistance is to be proactive and organize important documents.

"If you've been impacted by COVID, whether medically or you've been a result of, maybe say like a business closure or a layoff, and you have that documentation that will qualify you for a lot of different programs," he said. "There's also several programs that are out there that are income-based, and that can vary a little bit based on, you know, what part of the community you're in. If you've been receiving unemployment benefits if you know you've lost a significant amount of income, even if that's all happened in the last 30 days or so. The important thing is that you have some documentation about your situation that you've gotten from either your employer or whoever maybe provides your income so that you can show those things."

For Missouri residents, people in Kansas City can find additional help by visiting the city's website.

Other resources include the Missouri Housing Development Commission State Assistance for Housing Reliefand the Missouri Housing Development Commission State Emergency Rental Arrears Program (ERAP.)

For Kansas residents, the Kansas Emergency Rental Program (KERP) is open for applications starting March 15.