For More Info
For housing discrimination questions:
Marissa Cohen at EHOC
For eviction questions:
Elad Gross at the St. Louis Mediation Project
CARES Act Housing and Utility Assistance Resources in St. Louis County
Beyond Housing Eligibility Form for Family or Senior Housing
Free resources to prevent housing discrimination and help keep people in their homes during the pandemic are available across the St. Louis region. But sorting them out can be confusing—which is why it’s very helpful to reach out to organizations like the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC) and the St. Louis Mediation Project.
Both organizations described their services during the virtual workshop “24:1 Housing Rights and Resources” on Wednesday, Sept. 30. They were joined by Beyond Housing’s Cory Eichorn, who highlighted the help available from Beyond Housing for rent, mortgage, and utility assistance in the 24:1 Community through a CARES Act grant.
The eviction protection program at EHOC—which can assist people who are being evicted for any reason, including those related to COVID-19—has expanded during the pandemic.
The St. Louis Mediation Project also works to prevent evictions and to help renters who are already involved in the court process.
Renters are protected from evictions until Dec. 31 because of the COVID-19 pandemic under an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you have filled out the correct paperwork and are still being evicted, you can contact either group for assistance. Their services are offered free of charge across the St. Louis area.
Recently EHOC has seen increases in housing discrimination due to national origin, gender, domestic violence, and disability (including illnesses like COVID-19). EHOC investigates these cases of discriminatory treatment as well as any other situation that falls under the Fair Housing Act.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against protected classes during housing-related activities. It dates back to the civil rights movement, and it’s considered to be the last legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. because the act was passed seven days after his assassination (after sitting in Congress for two years).
You are protected regardless of your: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, family status, ancestry (Missouri), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (St. Louis City and some parts of St. Louis County) or source of income (St. Louis City)
Housing activities that are covered by the Fair Housing Act include:
- Buying or selling
- Obtaining a mortgage or refinancing
- Obtaining homeowners insurance
- Viewing real estate advertisements
- Zoning laws and occupancy permits
If you have experienced difficulty during any of those activities, EHOC may be able to help.
Here’s the complete recording of the “24:1 Housing Rights and Resources” virtual workshop.