MACCH seeking $19.2 million for emergency rental assistance

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. “Rental Stress. In other words, they’re spending more than 30 percent of their take-home pay on rent and assistance,” said Feldhaus. “Inflation is not only hitting us at the grocery store, but it’s also hitting us when it comes to paying rent. So it’s critical that the community help out where we can,” said Wallen. MACCH works as a liaison between the city of Omaha and direct assistance providers. Getting the $19.2 million, coming out of the US Treasury for COVID-19 relief, would help them continue to support needy families for now. But Feldhaus hopes minimum wage increases, working with property managers and new housing will ease the stresses residents face in the long-term. “A large investment of those dollars is going into building more affordable housing. So what we’re hoping is over the next 33 months, those units will come online and help remedy some of this,” said Feldhaus. The Omaha City Council will still need to take a final vote on whether to approve the $19 million for MACCH. That will happen in the coming weeks.Today was Giving Wednesday at United Way. You can donate at the link provided.

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.

“Rental Stress. In other words, they’re spending more than 30 percent of their take-home pay on rent and assistance,” said Feldhaus.

“Inflation is not only hitting us at the grocery store, but it’s also hitting us when it comes to paying rent. So it’s critical that the community help out where we can,” said Wallen.

MACCH works as a liaison between the city of Omaha and direct assistance providers. Getting the $19.2 million, coming out of the US Treasury for COVID-19 relief, would help them continue to support needy families for now. But Feldhaus hopes minimum wage increases, working with property managers and new housing will ease the stresses residents face in the long-term.

“A large investment of those dollars is going into building more affordable housing. So what we’re hoping is over the next 33 months, those units will come online and help remedy some of this,” said Feldhaus.

The Omaha City Council will still need to take a final vote on whether to approve the $19 million for MACCH. That will happen in the coming weeks.

Today was Giving Wednesday at United Way. You can donate at the link provided.

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