Latest COVID-19 grant is to PROP for rental assistance

Nearly half of PROP clients spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing. One-quarter of the Eden Prairie-based organization’s clients spend more than 80 percent on putting a roof over their head.

And this was before the COVID-19 pandemic!

It’s no surprise, therefore, that emergency help for paying rent is a big need in Eden Prairie. So much so, that when the Foundation this summer asked community organizations about which local social-services issue would benefit most from immediate funding from the Foundation, rental assistance was the No. 1 answer.

To that end, the Foundation’s board of directors on Aug. 20 approved a $15,000 grant to PROP to be used for emergency rental assistance. The grant is the sixth from the Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, started in mid-March and generously supported by donors to ensure that basic social services continue to be provided to Eden Prairie residents, uninterrupted, throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Although there’s been a statewide, pandemic-related moratorium on rental evictions, a recent report by HousingLink, Minnesota’s primary source for affordable housing-related information and resources, shows that the percentage of families staying current on rent has fallen from 91 percent to 72 percent due to job loss, reduced employment, or other circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anticipating this growing need, Eden Prairie-based PROP has doubled its direct housing budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. This means they need to raise $150,000 by June 30, 2021 to alleviate homelessness in our community.

As local housing costs continue to increase, it now takes approximately $1,500 to pay one month of rent when an individual or family is on the verge of eviction. The $15,000 grant to PROP will provide rental assistance to 10 families and help PROP meet a generous donor’s $25,000 match for helping keep families and individuals in their homes during an extremely difficult period.

Complementing the effort is a rental assistance program run by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

So, a big thank-you to everyone who has given to the COVID-19 Response Fund, where 100 percent of donations are turned into grants for not only rental assistance but also food, counseling, beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), and more.

You are helping Eden Prairie neighbors at a time of need!

Mark Weber About the Author Mark Weber has been the executive director of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation since October 2013. In this role, he enjoys meeting with Eden Prairie residents, and being an active member of the community. If you’d like to connect with Mark, call him at (952) 949-8499 or email him. You can also read Mark’s full biography.

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