Fifth District U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) announced the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) has voted to reallocate $50 million in Missouri’s unspent emergency rental assistance funding to be made available to tenants in Jackson County and Kansas City. 

“Since March of last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the financial struggles that millions of ordinary Americans regularly confront, and chief among them is making rent payments on time,” Cleaver said. “As Chair of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance, keeping people in their homes has always been one of my top priorities, but this effort becomes increasingly important as winter weather fast approaches. Today, I’m thrilled to announce that $50 million in additional federal funding will be distributed between Kansas City and Jackson County to ensure local tenants get their hands on rental assistance money in a timely fashion that will prevent unnecessary evictions.”

Last December, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which was supported by Congressman Cleaver and provided $25 billion in emergency rental assistance to states and municipalities to ensure families across the country remained housed during the pandemic. Kansas City expended all emergency rental assistance funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 earlier this year, which provided relief to approximately 3,500 households.

On December 16, the Missouri Housing Development Commission approved the reallocation of $25 million of the state’s unspent emergency rental assistance funds to Kansas City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program and $25 million to Jackson County, for a combined $50 million. The funds will help address the back log of unprocessed rental assistance requests in the vast majority of the Fifth Congressional District of Missouri.

“By easing the backlog in applications for rent relief, these funds will help expedite the important work being done at the Kansas City Emergency Rental Assistance Center, for which I have been a constant advocate,” Cleaver said. “I want to express my appreciation to the people at the MHDC for their willingness to reallocate this funding to communities that are in need of assistance in an effort to avoid painful, needless evictions of hardworking Missouri families. Additionally, I must recognize Speaker Pelosi and Congresswoman Maxine Waters for their unshakable commitment to continuing rent relief programs that have helped stabilize our economy, ensured shelter for millions, and undoubtedly saved lives.”

Cleaver is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus.