City of Omaha qualifies for federal rental assistance funds

(Omaha, NE) -- The City of Omaha is qualified to give emergency rent and utility assistance from federal funds.

the City says Mayor Jean Stothert turned in documents to the U.S. Treasury Department to get the funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. “Many of our citizens have experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic. Accepting the available federal dollars to help out or citizens with fundamental expenses is another way we can provide assistance and support those who need it," Mayor Stothert said. "The actions we have taken over the last ten months position Omaha for a strong, post-pandemic economic recovery.”

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, qualifies local governments that have a population greater than 200,000 for funding. The 2021 Act is different from the 2020 CARES Act by lowering the population from 500,000 to 200,000.

The City of Omaha is developing a program to apply and give out the federal funds with the help of community partners. This process will be similar to how funds were received from the Housing and Urban Development in 2020.

Lincoln Senator Adam Morfeld introduced the LB394 bill on Thursday. The bill, called the Public Health Emergency Housing Act, will give a waiting period on evictions and mortgage foreclosures in public health emergencies, such as the pandemic.

Senator Morfeld stated, “This is a critical tool desperately needed to protect tenants and landlords during a pandemic.”

The U.S. Treasury Department will determine how much funds will be given out based on the U.S. Census data. There are estimates that show Omaha could receive up to $40-$50 million.

A date hasn’t been announced of when the funds will be released.

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