The Mission City Council Wednesday evening unanimously approved working with Catholic Charities to administer $15,000 to residents who need help paying rent or mortgage bills.
City Administrator Laura Smith has been working on the program, and reached out to the United Community Services of Johnson County which helped the city identify Catholic Charities as a housing support provider. Councilmember Hillary Parker Thomas thanked Smith for “massaging” the rent-mortgage assistance idea into a program that she thinks “is going to make a difference for at least a few” Mission families.
“I hope that as we go into the budget process for this next year we look at how well this works and if it helps meet some needs then we explore maybe having it be a recurring program,” Thomas said.
Catholic Charities will not be charging an administration fee for helping the city identify eligible residents and administer the funds. The entire $15,000 that Mission allocated to this program during its 2020 budget process is going directly to residents, as a result.
The city will cover the equivalent of one month’s rent — whatever that may be, with no specific dollar amount set. Residents will not have to prove that the economic hardships they’re enduring are a direct result of the pandemic, though the program is only in place from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.
Below are the eligibility requirements residents must meet to be considered for the program:
- The tenant or owner must be a current Mission resident since at least January 2020.
- They must have missed at least one rent or mortgage payment since April 2020.
- Residents must confirm the assistance would be for their primary residence.
- They must confirm they haven’t received assistance from other sources for the month in which they are asking Mission for assistance.
- Residents will only be eligible for one month’s payment.
- The tenant or owner’s income is at or below 50% of the income limit as established by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (which is $43,000 annually or less, according to city documents).
City staff and Catholic Charities are working on the logistics for the program, and the city will work on an education plan through its website, social media and property owners or landlords. If anyone is interested in the rent-mortgage assistance program in the meantime, Smith said individuals can contact her via email at email@example.com or via phone at (913) 676-8352.