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Update on Omaha pandemic-related rent & utility assistance program

Mayor Stothert
Posted at 12:02 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 13:02:06-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Tuesday, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert’s office provided an update on pandemic-related rent and utility assistance through the City of Omaha-MAACH Emergency Rental Assistance Program which is set to launch on April 5.

Stothert’s office said the city has secured more than $22 million from the U.S. Treasury to fund the program and support 10,000-12,000 renters in need of assistance.

Stothert signed a city-council-approved contract with the Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless (MACCH) to help disburse the funds which will be paid directly to landlords and utility providers.

Applications will need to be submitted to MACCH from landlords and eligible households. Mortgage payments will not be eligible under the program.

“Providing financial help for rent and utility costs is one of the top priorities of my 2021 Pandemic Recovery Priority Checklist. This program continues our distribution of funds for assistance throughout our city,” said Stothert. “Randy McCoy and the team at MACCH have done an outstanding job to develop this program and meet the required federal guidelines to comply with this program.”

Applicants will need to meet the following residency and requirements:

  • Be a renter household with the applicant’s name on the lease
  • Live in the city limits of Omaha
  • Be a United States Citizen or legal resident
  • Be at or below 80% of Area Median Income based on household size
  • Area Median Income for area households
    • Household size of 1 - $48,750
    • Household size of 2 - $55,700
    • Household size of 3 - $62,650
    • Household size of 4 - $69,600
    • Household size of 5 - $72,200
    • Household size of 6 - $80,750
    • Household size of 7 - $86,350
    • Household size of 8 - $91,900

In order to qualify, applicants must prove financial loss due to COVID-19 “including receiving or be a recipient of unemployment or a reduction in a household income, significant costs or financial hardship due to COVID-19, and are a risk of housing instability or homelessness.”

The following documents are required from renters:

  • Proof of financial impact (employment verification of loss of employment, unemployment letter, layoff letter, signed attestation of impact)
  • Current lease or rental agreement with the applicant’s name and address on the lease
  • Rent statement or rent notice showing amount/balance or rent owed
  • Driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID for head of household/applicant
  • Proof of current income of all household members who file income taxes (IRS Form 1040 for the year 2020, recent pay stubs, unemployment claim, contribution statement)
  • Additional documentation including proof of ownership and a W9 will be required from property owners and managers

Other info from the mayor's office:

Property owners and managers may begin submitting applications on behalf of tenants approximately two weeks after the tenant portal opens on April 5.

Prior to applying on behalf of tenants, owners and managers must obtain signed authorization from prospective tenants and be prepared to upload that information as the first step in the application process. These forms and additional instructions for completing an application will be available on Macchconnect.org.

“The city of Omaha and MACCH are working to make the application and approval process as quick and easy as possible. The application will be available in multiple formats including online, by phone and in person, at select locations when necessary,” said MACCH Executive Director Randy McCoy. “To make the process more efficient, we encourage everyone to have the required documents ready before beginning the application.”

MACCH will partner with other nonprofit organizations to assist with the program. Eligible renters are encouraged to apply through http://macchconnect.org/. Tenants will also be able to apply by phone or with the partner agencies, which are currently being selected through and RFP process.

For questions or technical assistance about the City of Omaha-MACCH Emergency Rental Assistance Program, call 2-1-1 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. or Saturday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. beginning April 5.

Douglas County residents who live outside the city limits may be eligible for other assistance. Those programs will be listed at http://macchconnect.org/ as they become available.

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