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Missouri now accepting applications for Housing Relief program

On February 11, 2021 Governor Parson signed HB 16 into law, which provides more than $324 million in funding for rental and utility assistance for Missourians. Missouri Housing Development Commission will administer this funding under the State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) program.

The state of Missouri’s new rental assistance program using funding through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was passed by Congress in December 2020.

The State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) Program provides rent and utility assistance for households who have been impacted by COVID-19. Eligible tenants can apply for financial assistance to be paid directly to their landlord or utility provider. Financial assistance includes rent and utility arrears for the period beginning April 2020 and up to 3 months of forward rent and prepaid fuel utility assistance.

The tenant must not owe rental arrears beyond any requested rental arrears through this program in order to apply for forward rent assistance. In order to receive utility assistance, tenants must have an invoice from the utility provider to support the request. Total assistance any tenant receives through SAFHR cannot exceed a period of 12 months.

The SAFHR Program is funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Pub. L. No. 116-260 (Dec. 27, 2020) (the “Act”) and provided to the State of Missouri from the U.S. Department of the Treasury for emergency rental assistance.

Federal guidance regarding this program is still in development at the federal level. Assistance provided through the Missouri SAFHR Program will become available in phases. The first priority is to provide financial assistance to eligible Missouri households beginning February 2021. Rental assistance requests will be processed first and utility assistance requests are anticipated to be processed in March 2021.

To be eligible for the SAFHR program, tenant households must:

  • Currently reside in residential rental property in Missouri

  • Property must not be located in Clay County, Greene County, Jackson County, Jefferson County, St. Louis County, Kansas City, or St. Louis City. These localities will run individual programs. Click here to learn more.

  • Have an estimated annual household income at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI). Estimated household income should be based on the average income for the most recent 30 days or the 2020 annual income if a tenant is not income eligible based on the most recent 30 days. Estimated income must include all household members over 18. To view the income 80% AMI income limit for your county, and household size select “Click here for FY 2020 IL Documentation” at this link or by downloading the SAFHR Income Ranges worksheet.

  • One or more individuals in household receives unemployment benefits and/or have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19

  • One or more individuals in household can demonstrate risk of housing instability or homelessness without assistance

  • Requested amounts must be tenant owed portion of rent or utilities that has not been and will not be paid by any source.

If you are a landlord seeking assistance, you may work with your tenant to apply for assistance through the SAFHR program, or you may also be eligible to apply on behalf of your tenant for rental arrears assistance under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Click here to learn more about ERAP. Additional services through the SAFHR program will be coming soon.

Tenants can apply through an online application portal in collaboration with their landlord now. 

The online application opened as of February 15, 2021. Click here to apply.

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