Creighton investigation finds thousands of rent paid using federal funding

A new study from Creighton University finds that 7,400 renters were able to pay rent because of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Funds from this program helped prevent an eviction emergency during the pandemic, albeit temporarily. “I think this funding can provide that kind of support and leeway so that they can start prioritizing some of those other things that are important to keep the stability of housing construction prominent,” said Karina El-Refai, the program manager at MACCH . MACCH is an Omaha housing organization that distributes the funds. While there’s an overwhelming need to keep roofs over the heads of subway families, El-Refai says it’s cheaper to keep someone housed than it is to find housing. “We need more funding. If we have to go back to the private funds that we have used before, which don’t get me wrong, have been beneficial, but not in this capacity – we will continue to see the impact of COVID-19, particularly with marginalized communities for years to come,” said El-Refai. With the addition of rising rents and record high inflation, even more Nebrascans could be barred from affordable housing. Proponents like El-Refai believe that more federal funding could keep the door open. seeing people who were single mothers during the pandemic, who lost their jobs and had to stay at home because of distance learning with their children, people who ran out of savings and are now struggling to catch up,” she said. El-Refai fears that if funds run out, Omaha could face a tidal wave of evictions.

A new study from Creighton University finds that 7,400 renters were able to pay rent thanks to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Funds from this program helped mitigate an eviction emergency during the pandemic, albeit temporarily.

“I think this funding can provide that kind of support and leeway so they can start prioritizing some of those other things that are important to keep that housing stability prominent,” said Karina El-Refai, program manager at MACCH.

MACCH is a housing organization in Omaha that distributes the funds.

While there’s an overwhelming need to keep roofs over the heads of subway families, El-Refai says it’s cheaper to keep someone housed than it is to find housing.

“We need more funding. If we have to go back to the private funds that we used before, and I don’t get that wrong, they were beneficial, but not in this capacity – we will continue to see the effects of COVID-19, in particular with marginalized communities for years to come,” said El-Refai.

With the addition of rising rents and record inflation, even more Nebrascans could be barred from affordable housing.

Proponents like El-Refai believe that more federal funding could keep the door open.

“We’re seeing people who were single mothers during the pandemic, who lost their jobs and had to stay at home because of distance learning with their children, people who ran out of savings and are now struggling to catch up,” she said.

El-Refai fears that if funds run out, Omaha could face a tidal wave of evictions.

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