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Renters in Douglas County will have to wait a bit longer for COVID assistance

Published: Feb. 1, 2021 at 10:18 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Renters struggling amid the pandemic are going to have to wait a bit longer for the next round of assistance.

Douglas County and the City of Omaha were both aiming to have applications open by February 1st, but are still working out details.

“You basically count your money at the end of the week and decide which one you’re going to pay first. Is it going to pay your rent or put food on the table, or clothe your kids, you know, that’s what you go by,” said Susan Duncan, whose family has lost income amid the pandemic.

“Even with unprecedented efforts last year we still couldn’t get to everybody and that was with extra city funds, extra county funds, funds coming in from HUD,” said Mike Hornacek, President & CEO, Together Inc. “And, as we sit here now, February 1st most of that funding has not been renewed, it is supposed to be on the way.”

Last week, Douglas County set aside $2 million in leftover CARES Act funds for rent assistance. The city also announced last week, it just received millions in new federal rent assistance but neither is quite ready to hand it out.

Meanwhile, non-profits like Together struggle to fill the gap.

“We’re still getting the same amount of phone calls and requests, and we don’t have anywhere near the amount of funds we did the majority of last year to meet that need,” said Hornacek.

Both the city and county are working with local nonprofits to help dole out this next round of COVID relief funds. The Mayor’s Office said Monday, the city council could vote on an agreement as early as next week.

As for the county, they could have applications open up by the end of this week. You’ll want to keep an eye on the MAACH website for any updates.

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