New legislation allocates funds for landlord, tenant relief

In the face of the pandemic and a lackluster job market, the last year has been very challenging for landlords and renters in Missouri. Amidst an eviction moratorium and concern over tenants not being able to pay rent, new legislation will open up government resources specifically to address the issues they face.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons has signed legislation allocating $324 million of state funds to give financial relief to landlords and tenants in the state. As of Monday, February 15, landlords will be able to apply for some of this funding via the Emergency Rental Arrears Program (ERAP), while tenants can apply for relief through the State Assistance for Housing Relief.

St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis have been running their own, similar programs, so residents will not be able to apply for relief under the new, statewide legislation.

Certain other restrictions apply, such as tenants required to have an income of 80% or less than the median income of their community. The application process for landlords is extensive, with some advocates expressing concern that ERAP is excessively bureaucratic.

Nevertheless, the new funding should provide some relief to struggling renters and landlords. According to the Missouri Independent, there is currently an estimated rent shortfall in the state of as much as $417 million. Between 150,000 and 230,000 households are at risk of eviction.

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