Eviction prevention is one of three targeted areas of investments in the latest round of funding awarded by the Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. The fun was established in March to address critical needs for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The $1 million award will support a collaborative partnership to help those in danger of being evicted or losing their homes through foreclosure as a result of the coronavirus-caused recession. This round of funding also supports programs to increase COVID-19 testing and other public health efforts supporting vulnerable populations and essential workers, child care and out-of-school time programs, and broader digital access to support remote learning, economic opportunities and telehealth.
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 assistance to halt the eviction and funds to help pay past-due rent. Homeowners facing foreclosure may receive assistance to restructure their loans. Individuals needing 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 the appropriate social service agency for help.
“Having a lawyer meant the difference between me and my kids being housed or being on the streets when our landlord sued us,” said Jamie T., a client of Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom. “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.”
The eviction prevention effort is coordinated by the 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.
The Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund award supplements $7.7 million of other public and private funds earmarked for regional housing stability efforts. The Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund is made possible through contributions of foundations, corporations and individuals that have invested over $17 million in response to the urgent needs of area residents and is coordinated by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, United Way of Greater Kansas City, LISC Greater Kansas City (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), and the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC).