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St. Louis County To Receive An Extra $30 Million To Help Renters Avoid Eviction

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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced Wednesday that more rental aid funding will soon be available to help keep people in their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

St. Louis County officials expect to receive another nearly $30 million in federal rental aid funds, now that the county has met a federal requirement for distributing its first round of funding.

In April, county officials received $29.7 million in federal rental assistance. According to Emergency Relief Assistance Program guidelines, local government officials must distribute 65% of the allotted rental aid. The county had to meet that requirement or return the money to the federal government.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought more attention to economic inequality, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said Wednesday.

“This pandemic highlighted the great disparities in our county in almost every facet of life, including access to health care, healthy food options and job opportunity,” Page said. “The rental assistance program has highlighted the disparity in housing stability in St. Louis County.”

The county so far has distributed more than $18 million in aid to help keep renters in their homes and avoid eviction. The county received over 10,250 applications for assistance and distributed funds to over 3,000 households.

The county has about $8.5 million left to distribute of its first round of federal funds. Once this is distributed, the county should receive the second round of funding, Page said.

“With 10,000 applications in the pipeline and, well, thousands left to be processed, we have more applications than we have funds,” Page said. “So, it's important that we get through these rental assistance funds by the end of the year, because then the federal government could pull them back if we haven't spent them.”

County officials urge people to apply for rental aid soon as the county’s eviction moratorium ends Sunday.

The federal government allocated nearly $9 million to St. Louis to assist people who need help paying rent because of the pandemic. To date, city officials have distributed about $4.4 million to over 1,000 households. City officials also met the federal government aid distribution guidelines. After the first round of emergency rental assistance is exhausted, officials will tap into its next round of nearly $12 million in federal funding.

City officials say they expect an increase in the amount of money distributed and households assisted by the end of Thursday.

Follow Andrea on Twitter: @drebjournalist

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