The demand for rental assistance in Bloomington is higher than ever. COVID-19 has strained some households to the point that paying rent is out of reach, but resources are available to help fill the gap.
“We’ve never seen this level of need, especially for rental assistance,” VEAP Chief Executive Officer Joe McDonald said.
Last year, VEAP provided support for approximately 600 – 650 households in the city. In all, the organization dispersed $3.5 million to households in Bloomington, Edina, Richfield and South Minneapolis.
“We help keep people safe and secure in their homes during times of crisis,” McDonald said.
The economic impact of COVID-19 has touched people of all cultures and social backgrounds. Some were already having challenges before the pandemic. Others found themselves out of a job for the first time and facing economic hardship.
VEAP partners with Hennepin County, the City of Bloomington and the Bloomington Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) for financial support and advocacy for affordable housing. Through meetings coordinated by the City and HRA, rental property managers were provided the latest information about rental assistance.
“My team was consistently made aware of new programs and resources that could support our residents experiencing hardships. We were also provided with a resource page to share with our residents,” a rental property manager said.
In addition to VEAP, other organizations are working to help residents to address their financial needs. Community groups and individuals also contribute their time to the effort.