KC COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund announces support for eviction prevention

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Photo by Brandi Ibrao on Unsplash

Established to address critical needs for those affected by the pandemic, the Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund announced funding for eviction protection in the latest round of investments. The $1 million award will support a partnership to help those in danger of being evicted or losing their homes through foreclosure as a result of the recession caused by the pandemic.

This round of funding also supports programs to increase COVID-19 testing, along with other public health efforts to support vulnerable populations and essential workers. Childcare and out-of-school time programs, broader digital access to support remote learning, economic opportunities, and telehealth are also included.

According to a press release, available support through the eviction prevention program includes:

  •  Legal representation focused on eviction prevention and financial assistance to prevent evictions.
  •  Advocacy for homeowners focused on loan modification, foreclosure prevention, and assistance navigating the foreclosure process, as well as financial assistance to prevent foreclosures.
  • Case management, including help finding new housing.

Renters facing eviction may receive legal help to prevent the eviction and funds to help pay past-due rent. Homeowners facing foreclosure may also receive help to restructure their loans and in some counties, there are funds available to help pay utility bills.

People that need assistance are asked to call 211, United Way of Greater Kansas City’s help and information line, or visit the website. They will be directed to a social service agency for help. In some cases, the call specialist can help with necessary forms while on the call.

“Having a lawyer meant the difference between me and my kids being housed or being on the streets when our landlord sued us,” Jamie T., a client of Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom says. “Me and my husband have health problems that make the coronavirus really dangerous to us. Having to go to a homeless shelter or taking our family of seven to another family’s home would have been life-threatening.”

“With these funds and services in place, the region is positioned to help more people avoid homelessness—and its subsequent health consequences—during this pandemic,” Jim MacDonald, chief community impact officer at United Way of Greater Kansas City says. “It’s never been more important for our community to come together to help each other out.”

The mission to prevent evictions is coordinated by United Way of Greater Kansas City and supports an overlapping set of initiatives to provide legal and social services. Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom, Kansas Legal Services, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, and the legal clinic at the UMKC School of Law will provide legal services, and more than a dozen social services agencies will provide direct service to clients in the metro area.

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