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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Rental assistance available to low-income families

  • The Phelps County Public Housing Agency (PHA) still has funding available to assist low-income residents of the six-county area it serves with rental payments.
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  • The Phelps County Public Housing Agency (PHA) still has funding available to assist low-income residents of the six-county area it serves with rental payments.
    The Phelps County PHA provides subsidized housing assistance to low-income residents in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries and Washington counties as well as Phelps County outside the city limits of Rolla through the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing choice voucher program.
    After closing its waiting list for a full year because of budget constraints, the Phelps County PHA was able to re-open that list in March 2014.
    Under the program, potential participants must fill out an application and the housing unit must be inspected by PHA staff to ensure it meets housing quality standards.
    Once approved, the PHA will pay its portion of the rent directly to the landlord on the first business day of each month, and the renter is required to pay the balance to the landlord. Unless there are complaints, the home will be inspected annually when the contract is due for renewal.
    “We try to make the program as simple as possible, yet we must make sure it meets federal housing quality standards,” said Phelps County PHA Housing Manager Linda Hollandsworth. “The purpose of our program is to ensure lower income families have access to safe and decent housing, and we must follow standards set by HUD in Washington, D.C.”
    Applications are accepted at the St. James office located at Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC), 4 Industrial Drive, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of the month.
    People also may visit www.meramecregion.org and click on the Phelps County Housing Agency link to print an application, fill it out, and bring it with them to the office. All adults must sign the application prior to submitting.
    The Phelps County PHA contracts with MRPC to operate the program.
    During the last fiscal year, more than 700 families in the Meramec region received monthly rental assistance totaling more than $2.6 million.
    For directions or more information, call 573-265-4200, extension 130.

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