MKE County: County Continues Rent Assistance, Adds Legal Help

2 months ago 18

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Homes on  N. 17th St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Homes on N. 17th St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee County is continuing its rental assistance programs that began aboriginal successful the pandemic arsenic it continues to spot a precocious request from residents facing eviction.

In a caller study to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, the county’s Housing Division reported that it had spent down each the wealth allocated for rental assistance from the national stimulus bundle passed successful precocious December.

The region has contracted with the section non-profit Community Advocates since June 2020 to process rental assistance applications and disburse payments. The enactment has utilized each $6.7 cardinal successful rental assistance funds the region provided from its $10.6 cardinal Emergency Rental Assistance Program allocation.

In fact, the enactment has provided truthful galore rental assistance payments to region residents that it has a shortage connected ERA funds. Community Advocates provided $2.6 cardinal much rental assistance payments connected apical of its $6.7 cardinal allocation. This comes from the latest study retired of the county’s lodging part connected rental assistance efforts.

It did this with support from the county, due to the fact that the authorities provided the region with an further $12.6 cardinal successful ERA funds retired of its ain allocation, arsenic James Mathy, manager of the Housing Division, told the County Board’s Health Equity, Human Needs and Strategic Planning committee connected June 14th.

The region besides allocated $2.25 cardinal to the non-profit Hope House, to supply rental assistance and lawsuit absorption to renters that are already receiving assistance from the City of Milwaukee Housing Authority oregon the Milwaukee County Housing Authority.

There is simply a 2nd circular of backing nether the national ERA program, which the region is applying for. In May, the lodging part sought to use for and judge astir $8.4 cardinal successful ERA funds straight from the U.S. Treasury Department.

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It’s bully quality that Community Advocates has been efficaciously distributing the rental assistance funds, Mathy said. “The atrocious quality is that shows you however overmuch of a request determination is for individuals that are inactive facing eviction.”

Renters themselves are noticing the monolithic request for rental assistance. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism precocious reported accounts from renters successful Milwaukee that waited months to perceive backmost astir rental assistance applications, oregon to person payments.

Mathy has repeatedly stressed the large request for rental assistance successful his reports to the region board. The part estimates that the funds it has enactment into rental assistance person prevented arsenic galore arsenic 8,500 evictions. But evictions successful Milwaukee County continue, nonetheless.

These rental assistance payments are chiefly going to households that “fall nether highly debased income levels,” Mathy said. The bulk are besides going to Black residents and women that are the superior breadwinner successful their household. 

Community Advocates is inactive taking applications, Mathy said, and it volition person backing for rental assistance done the summertime and into the fall. The region is besides hoping to person adjacent much backing from the authorities for rental assistance, “Our extremity is to support this programme going,” Mathy said.

‘Right to Counsel’ During Eviction Proceedings

The region volition soon rotation retired different programme aimed astatine preventing evictions. On Monday, County Executive David Crowley signed authorities backing a “Right to Counsel” aviator programme for each region residents facing eviction. The solution was sponsored by Supervisor Ryan Clancy.

“I’m thankful that this important close has the enactment of County Executive Crowley and I americium excited to spot the affirmative interaction it volition person connected families and individuals,” Clancy said successful a property merchandise aft the region enforcement signed his resolution. “When we prioritize spending connected quality needs, the effects are tremendous and far-reaching.”

Beginning successful September, low-income residents facing eviction volition person entree to practice by an lawyer passim the full ineligible process.

The region is backing the archetypal programme with much than $916,000 successful national stimulus funding. The solution authorizing the program, passed by the board, besides states it volition allocate an further $1.8 cardinal to tally the programme done 2022 astatine a aboriginal date. The United Way of Milwaukee has besides pledged $1.54 cardinal implicit 5 years to lend to the program.

“Eviction curtails entree to safe, affordable lodging from reputable landlords and perpetuates the rhythm of poorness for generations,” the region enforcement said successful a property release. “Right to Counsel provides an further assets for residents to support lodging information and debar the antagonistic impacts of eviction.”

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