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COLUMBIA – The City of Columbia Housing Programs Division and other local partners will provide an informational session via Zoom for citizens who have been impacted by housing instability due to COVID-19 on Thursday.

In a post on Facebook, the City of Columbia Programs Housing Division said Boone County has filed almost 12,000 COVID-related unemployment claims.

Homeowners could be facing evictions starting July 25, the day the moratorium ends on evictions. This comes as housing instability and inability to cover monthly housing costs increases because of unemployment. 

The session aims to highlight tenant and homeowners' rights and make citizens aware of the actions they can take to protect their current housing. The meeting will also point out local resources that may help assist with rent, mortgage and utilities.

Local partners for the meeting include Mid-Missouri Legal Service, Columbia Housing Authority, Voluntary Action Center, Central Missouri Community Action, and Boone County Family Resources.

Executive Director of VAC, Nick Foster says the meeting is important to share more information about what to do if anyone is struggling with rent or mortgage payments and what their legal rights are.

“A lot of people are having trouble largely because they lost employment or they have their employment reduced or their hours reduced at work,” Foster said. “It is just a matter of income, people do not have enough income to cover their rent.” 

Foster said he hopes the meeting can help provide information and guidance to those who are struggling.

Randy Cole, City of Columbia Housing Programs Manager, said many houses in Columbia are feeling the impact of the pandemic. 

“We know unemployment is high. We know families are struggling. We know the Voluntary Action Center and other local nonprofits are seeing an increase in calls for service and needs,” Cole said. “With increasing needs, we want to make sure we can get out ahead of it as much as we can and get people in our community that are struggling connected to resources so we can keep people housed.”

He said he is expecting a large turnout for the meeting. 

The virtual meeting is open for anyone to join. It will take place July 23, from 7:30-8:30 p.m. To join the meeting, click here. The meeting will also be recorded and posted online to como.gov. 

 

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