'The need is immense': St. Paul residents fear eviction without housing assistance

Since the onset of the pandemic, housing has been a top concern as millions nationwide have lost their jobs.

Nancy Brady is the president of The Neighborhood House, a local organization that helps families in St. Paul with basic needs services. She has helped residents pay rent and utilities for more than six years through the organization. She said the number of people applying for assistance is something she’s never seen.

“Without question, we are seeing more new families come to our door than we have in that prior time frame,” she told Fox 9 during an interview.

Funding from the federal government through the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program has helped the organization keep up with the demand so far. 

Renters and homeowners had until Dec. 7 to apply for housing assistance before the federal funding dries up. 

Brady is worried that families will be evicted from their homes if Congress and state leaders don’t act. 

“It’s hard, and that’s what keeps me up at night is how do we do more?” she said.  

The Centers for Disease Control stepped in to stop people from losing their homes, but that declaration is set to expire on Dec. 31.

“The need is immense,” said Rep. Mike Howard, DFL-Richfield. “30,000 Minnesotans and more have applied for housing assistance.”

Rep. Mike Howard, DFL-Richfield, said state leaders are not waiting on the federal government.  

“In the legislature, what we propose and what we’ll introduce today during our special session is a $50 million housing extension that would help us at least get through January and February.”

Howard said he will reintroduce housing relief legislation in January if the bill falls through during Monday’s special session.