As families continue to face challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ameren Missouri is partnering with local community action agencies to connect customers with energy assistance and encourage them to apply for available funding.
Less than 20% of the $324 million Missouri received in rental and utility assistance through the State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) program has been distributed. The Missouri Housing and Development Commission (MHDC) has so far awarded $51.2 million and approved more than 10,000 applications, with a vast majority of those funds going toward rental assistance. More than $270 million is still available.
"We know many Missourians are doing their best to manage the challenges COVID-19 continues to present, and we want our customers to know help is out there," said Tara Oglesby, vice president of customer experience for Ameren Missouri. "We are partnering with state and local agencies to get these funds to the families who need them, in addition to the grants and flexible payment options we continue to offer customers."
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Helping local community action agencies
Local agencies are making use of the $1 million in funding that Ameren Missouri provided as part of a $3.5 million effort to help low-income customers impacted by the pandemic. Eighteen Missouri agencies received the grants, which are intended to bolster and amplify the effectiveness of these grassroots efforts.
Missouri Ozarks Community Action (MOCA) agency received $50,000 from Ameren Missouri. MOCA is using the funds to support its mobile office initiative, which allows the agency to serve more central Missouri families and connect them to available social services. In northeast Missouri, North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) is using $75,000 donated by Ameren Missouri for outreach and advocacy efforts in the region. Other agency donations include:
- Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis Inc.: $75,000
- Jefferson-Franklin Community Action Corporation: $75,000
- Community Action Agency St. Louis County Inc.: $100,000
- East Missouri Action Agency Inc.: $75,000
Energy assistance resources
Since the pandemic began, Ameren Missouri has provided millions of dollars in energy assistance to help low-income customers across the state. Visit AmerenMissouri.com/EnergyAssistance to learn more about various support options. In the coming weeks, Ameren Missouri will announce an additional energy assistance program intended to help middle-income families who may not qualify for state and federal funding.
Eligible customers can apply for SAFHR funding at mohousingresources.com. If approved, payment typically takes place in two to four weeks, directly to your landlord and/or utility companies. If you need help applying, call 1-888-471-1029.
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 132,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.