OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nearly 18 months into the pandemic, the threat of evictions and shutoffs still looms over many Omahans. But now a second round of funding is available to help make ends meet.
Just six months after being tasked by the city to distribute $22 million to help struggling Omahans, the Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless is coming down to the final few cents of the first round of emergency rental assistance funding.
As many families are still working to bridge the gaps created by the pandemic and its aftermath, a second round of federal funding has been approved by the city council to go to MACCH to continue their efforts.
Randy McCoy, executive director of MACCH, said these new funds are arriving just in time.
“Round one funds will run out in the next few weeks, but with this approval coming in, it will allow us to start using round two funds seamlessly," McCoy said. "It won’t be a hiccup or interruption in processing applications and getting assistance out to people.”
The $17 million from the U.S. Treasury Department can be used until September 2025, but McCoy says based on their application numbers, that money will likely run out around the end of the year.
"Kind of with this 300-350 per week range, I think it’s way more than 4,000 that we’ve already been able to serve," McCoy said.
And with the eviction moratorium extension being blocked by the Supreme Court, McCoy said they’re ready to help those who may be scrambling to find help.
“At some point, the protections offered by a moratorium wouldn’t be there any longer," McCoy said. "So it definitely wasn’t unexpected that that moratorium would end, but it certainly never would have come at a good time.”
McCoy encourages people to start applying for rental assistance sooner rather than later if they think they won’t make rent and to utilize the volunteer attorney program if they are taken to court.
You can apply for emergency rental assistance you can go to macchconnect.org or call 211 to start an application.