With out-of-control rent continuing to rise, Kansas City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Programs have never been more important.
Most of the temporary housing policy measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic are coming to a close and many people in search of emergency rental assistance are asking: What now?
Rent is Out of Reach
Our friends at the National Low Income Housing Coalition have gracefully but factually highlighted the fact that rent in the United States is out of reach – especially for low-income households.
“In 2022, a full-time worker needs to earn an hourly wage of $25.82 on average to afford a modest, two-bedroom rental home in the U.S. This Housing Wage for a two-bedroom home is $18.57 higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. In 11 states and the District of Columbia, the two-bedroom Housing Wage is more than $25.00 per hour. A full-time worker needs to earn an hourly wage of $21.25 on average in order to afford a modest one-bedroom rental home in the U.S.”
Unfortunately, in Kansas City, the current average rent is over $1,200 for an average of a modest 894 sq. ft. apartment. This is not only too high for a low-income household, but in most cases, too small.
Kansas City Rent Advocacy
KC Tenants is the citywide tenant union, an organization led by a multigenerational, multiracial, anti-racist base of poor and working class tenants in Kansas City. KC Tenants organizes to ensure that everyone in KC has a safe, accessible, and truly affordable home.
This week alone, the KC Tenants have been outside of city hall fighting for affordable housing in Kansas City. To learn more about the public’s widespread opposition to the mayor’s new affordable housing plan, click here.
“We believe the people closest to the problem are closest to the solution. To us, organizing is fundamentally democratic; it relies on developing tenant leaders to learn their rights, tell their own stories, and determine their own liberation.”
Kansas City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Programs
If you or someone you know is in need of emergency rental assistance in Kansas City, please utilize these available resources:
Kansas City, Missouri Programs
The City opened an Emergency Rental Assistance Center inside the City Hall offices of the Housing and Community Development Department. Volunteers and staff will assist those in need with the application process. Click here to learn more.
Metro Lutheran Ministry Housing Stablitity Assistance
This program provides emergency funding for rent, mortgage, and utilities to help clients weather a temporary crisis and prevent homelessness. Click here to learn more.
LISC Greater Kansas City Goals
LISC provides grants, loans and equity for nearly every aspect of development, from planning and acquisition to construction and renovation. Click here to learn more.
Jackson County Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The Jackson County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) prioritizes households that are at or below 50% Area Median Income and/or households with at least one member that has been unemployed for 90 days or more at the time of application submission for assistance. Click here to learn more.