Non-profit helps COVID-impacted Missouri renters with applications

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri is helping with applications for rental and utilities assistance and housing stability plans
Application Assistance

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Missouri renters have more help to fill out applications for federal rent and utilities assistance.

Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri (CCSOMO) is currently helping COVID-impacted Missouri renters apply for housing stability plans. If you’re interested in their help to enroll in the SAFHR for Renters program, contact one of the CCSOMO offices: https://ccsomo.org/about-us/office-locations.html.

SAFHR for Renters is a federal pandemic relief and stimulus program. Officials created it to prevent homelessness and housing instability. In Missouri, residents can apply through the State Assistance for Housing Relief program.

The U.S. Treasury is distributing $25 billion to 50 states for rental and utilities assistance. The Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) is administering the state share of Missouri’s allocation which is approximately $323 million through two programs and an online portal established to accept applications. These programs are: SAFHR for Renters and SAFHR for Landlords.

SAFHR Help

The SAFHR for Renters program pays up to 12 total months of rent and utility arrears (per service); and up to three months of forward rent, incurred since April 2020. Utilities include gas, electric, water, sewage or waste water, trash, and fuel (propane, wood, etcetera). People can apply only for utility assistance but must still be renters. The program will make payments directly to a landlord or utility company, usually two to four weeks after submission of a complete application. MHDC expects to accept applications through at least September 2022.

CCSOMO’s Role

MHDC has contracted Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri to help renters successfully navigate the SAFHR for Renters online application process. As an additional service, MHDC contracted CCSOMO to provide each applicant with housing case management services resulting in a housing stability plan that promotes long-term permanent housing. MHDC is encouraging interested or qualifying individuals to contact CCOMO to expedite the online application process.

Eligibility

The SAFHR for Renters program has three requirements:

  1. Applicants must be a resident of Missouri, and a renter at their current or a previous address in Missouri;
  2. Someone in the household must have experienced, either directly or indirectly, a financial hardship related to the pandemic;
  3. The applicant’s income must be less than 80 percent of the median income in the area. This amount varies by county and household size. Detailed AMI information is available at: https://www.mohousingresources.com/

Contact

Interested or qualifying individuals should visit CCSOMO.ORG to find their local CCSOMO office, or call 417.268.9998 in Springfield, to schedule an appointment.