KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The KC Regional Housing Alliance, a group of housing providers in the metro, is hosting a virtual event on Friday to get the word out about rent and utilities relief.
The event, which will be streamed on Zoom and Facebook at 10 a.m., will feature representatives from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC), the United Way of Greater Kansas City and the city of KCMO.
Those entities will share details on recently-allocated federal funding for rent and utility assistance. That includes $180 million to the state of Kansas, $334 million in Missouri and $30 million between KCMO, Jackson and Clay counties.
"We thought the best thing to do as housing providers ourselves would be to pull together all of the speakers, the people who know about the rental resources in our marketplace," KC Regional Housing Alliance president, Stacey Johnson-Cosby, said. "Between Missouri and Kansas, there's over $500 million in rental assistance, so there's no way that we can't get a lot of the rent paid."
The funds can be used for 12 months of rental assistance, including covering rent that is past due.
Either the tenant or the landlord can initiate an application for help, but both must sign off on it.
Johnson-Cosby said her group also worked with the United Way to ensure that in Missouri, the money can be used to pay off a previous eviction judgment.
Demand for rent help remains high in the metro.
Data the 41 Action News I-Team obtained from the United Way shows there were 4,325 requests to the 211 phone line for housing help in January and February alone. That data includes Jackson, Clay, Cass, Platte, Johnson and Wyandotte counties.
For the same time period last year, the number was 2,831.
Meanwhile, an October 2020 survey conducted by the KC Regional Housing Alliance found half of local landlords planned to sell some or all of their rental properties due to losses in rental income.
"Our preference is not to have the out-of-town corporate investors coming and buying properties. Our goal is to keep it local, where our neighbors are renting to their neighbors," Johnson-Cosby said.
Friday's event will be the second hosted by the KC Regional Housing Alliance.
Johnson-Cosby shared that after the first event, the KCRHA worked with the United Way to streamline its application form, resulting in $150,000 in rent relief disbursed to tenants in just two weeks.
People interested in attending Friday's virtual meeting can register and find links to watch here.
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