Joplin City Council approves rental assistance and repair funding for low-income housing residents

The Joplin City Council has approved two ordinances that provide low-income housing residents with more funding for rental assistance and repairs.
The first ordinance allows $290,000 for rental assistance through the Joplin Housing Authority.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has granted a waiver to allow $500,000 from the city’s $45 million Community Development Block Grant to be used towards assisting the Joplin Housing Authority.
Program directors say $290,000 of the total $500,000 in funding is needed for their rental assistance programs to cover the high expense of rebuilding 85 units destroyed by the 2011 tornado.
That money will subsidize rent for those who qualify for Section 8 or Veterans Affairs vouchers.
“We needed the money because we were running short,” said Matt Moran, Executive Director of the Joplin Housing Authority. “We were looking at a reduced program where we would be able to help less people, possibly by 20%, if we didn’t receive this help.”
The council also approved that the remaining $210,000 of the $500,000 in funding will go to repairing some of the property the Joplin Housing Authority owns.
The repairs will be made to parking lots and yards that were damaged by heavy equipment used to rebuild three complexes affected by the tornado.
The complexes include Parr Hill at 19th Street and Vermont Avenue, Bartlett Hills at 24th Street and McCoy Avenue, and Leonard Estates at 22nd Street and Jackson Avenue.
Residents say the repairs are much needed and that they would like to see the complexes looking as they did prior to the tornado.
“It certainly is needed because it doesn’t look very nice,” said Laverne Grady, resident at Bartlett Hills. “I would appreciate it if they would start fixing it all up like it was before. It was beautiful when I first moved here.”
The Joplin Housing Authority says all necessary environmental reviews must be completed before beginning the repair work.
Tonight, the council also approved a couple measures for the 20th Street Transit Project.
Council members voted in favor of the purchase of right of way for two strips of land near 20th Street and Arizona Avenue for $20,930 each.
The project aims to add a trolley stop and sidewalks to 20th Street between Murphy Boulevard and Range Line Road.