Originally Published: January 26, 2023
MACCH seeking $19.2 million for emergency rental assistance over next 3 years
Rising rents and dwindling availability have created the perfect storm in the metro’s housing market.
Now, another lifeline could be extended if more federal relief is approved for emergency rental assistance.
The Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless has already gotten nearly $17 million for emergency rental assistance. But the non-profit says they still need an additional $19 million for the next three years to meet the help many people depend on.
It is an issue that has found a home here in the metro. According to United Way of the Midlands, housing and utilities remain the top requests for support: 72 percent out of 325,000 211 helpline callers.
“We thought it might come down a little bit coming out of COVID, but just the opposite, it continues to increase,” said Matt Wallen, a senior vice president at United Way of the Midlands.
“We’re seeing an increase in evictions and eviction notices. We have served over 13,000 families,” said Jason Feldhaus, the MACCH executive director.
Feldhaus says the problem boils down to inflation, stagnant wages and not enough affordable housing. United Way says since Dec. 2021, rent prices have risen more than six percent in our area. 53,000 people pay too much of their monthly budget in rent, putting them in a tough situation.