GREENE COUNTY, Mo. – People in Greene County struggling to pay rent are currently losing a resource to help.

For the past two years, Greene County has partnered with nonprofits across the Ozarks to distribute emergency rental assistance.

“To pay for rent and utility payments for individuals who were affected by COVID and were making primarily less than 50 percent of our area median household wage,” said Greene County Budget Officer Jeff Scott.

Greene County officials said they are no longer accepting new applications for pandemic-related rental assistance, as the program was recently put on pause.

It’s due to the fact the program was always temporary, and the funds have run out.

“Our agencies are still getting people calling in great need wanting to get an appointment for assistance and, unfortunately, they are having to tell them that they don’t have funds at this time,” he explained.

Agency partners have awarded more than $19,736,000 to 3,861 households for rent and utility assistance. 

Greene County should know by Friday if additional federal government funding was approved.

However, even those extra funds wouldn’t last long.

“We would expect those funds to carry us another five months,” said Scott. “Then the program would probably, most definitely ends at that time.”

For Jessica Hughett, she said it’s not fair to see a program like this becoming paused and, eventually, coming to an end.

Hughett said people need a roof over their heads to maintain a job.

“Our citizens need help today, right now, this minute,” she said. 

Scott said agencies have been warning people of the situation.”They’ve been counseling them as case managers to try and correct their situation where, going forward, they would be able to take care of their rent and utilities on their own,” he said.