2016-2017 R.E.N.T. Conferences -- Realistic Expectations and Networking for Tenants

Beginning in July 2016 and over the following 12 months, DMH Housing will conduct a series of housing conferences aimed at mental health services consumers, their families, community support specialists, and current and prospective tenants in general. The conferences are called "R.E.N.T." Conferences, which stands for Realistic Expectations and Networking for Tenants. DMH Housing hosted a series of similar conferences across the state in 2012 that aimed to provide practical information on how to find, rent, and keep affordable rental housing.

The R.E.N.T. conferences are 100% free to attend. They are two-day events, generally beginning in the afternoon and resuming in the morning. Most sessions are concurrent and will be repeated on the second day, so attendees can attend sessions they missed on the first day. Refreshments are provided.

R.E.N.T. Conference Schedule:

  • Springfield: July 21-22, 2016
  • Mid-Missouri area: September 29-30, 2016
  • St. Louis: dates TBD, in 2017
  • Bootheel area: dates TBD, in 2017

Updates and information about each RENT conference will be posted here. For more information, please email housing@dmh.mo.gov or call 573-751-9206.

Resources for Finding Affordable Housing

Finding affordable rental housing used to be a matter of scanning newspaper classified advertisements. The World Wide Web has many new resources that make finding affordable housing much easier. Explore the links below to see what's available in your area.

Oxford House

Oxford House

National Oxford House Web site

What is an Oxford House?

Oxford Houses are self-run, self-supportive recovery houses for persons in recovery from alcohol and/or drug addiction. Oxford Houses provide opportunities for every recovering individual to learn a clean and sober way of life--forever. Each House follows standardized operations developed through 33 years of Oxford House experience. There are three basic requirements for the group:

  1. It must be democratically self-run;
  2. It must be financially self-supported; and
  3. It must expel any resident who returns to using alcohol or drugs.

Individuals living in an Oxford House learn or relearn values, responsible behavior and develop long-term behavior to assure comfortable sobriety forever. Some individuals live in Oxford House a few months, others for many years. Together, these individuals develop each Oxford house into a place to learn comfortable sobriety without relapse.

As a general rule, a person who stays at an Oxford House for 18 months or more has about an 80% chance of staying clean and sober, as opposed to 20% at a 28-day treatment program with no aftercare.

How do you apply for membership?

Individuals are welcome to apply directly at the Oxford house of their choice. For a complete list of contacts for Missouri's Oxford Houses, please click this link. If there are no vacancies, the applicant may be placed on a waiting list or referred to another Oxford House in the area.

  • Call the House and arrange for an interview.
  • Show up for the interview on time.
  • Complete the application and submit it to the house.

To be accepted, the applicant must receive a total of 80% of the House membership vote. Once accepted, the new member receives all the rights, privileges and responsibilities afforded to all members of Oxford House, worldwide.

How much does it cost?

Rent varies from House to House, but typically ranges between $250 to $375 per month. Deposits will vary and the conditions for deposit refunds are determined by each individual House. Rent includes all utilities, phone, cable and basic house supplies.

Community Action Agencies

Missouri Community Action Agencies

Missouri has 19 Community Action Agencies (CAA's), and every county in the state has at least one CAA office. Community Action Agencies are dedicated to fighting the causes as well as the effects of poverty. Many of them can help pay rent or energy bills, and many operate their own low-cost housing programs that include housing for people experiencing homelessness. Many more have money to use for home repairs that must be made in order to avoid having your home condemned. If you are in danger of losing your home, getting evicted, or having your power shut off, contact your local CAA to see if they can help. For a list of Missouri's Community Action Agencies, click the link below.

Community Action Agencies

Public Housing Authorities

Many cities and towns in Missouri have Public Housing Authorities (PHA's). These agencies administer federally funded low-income housing in their towns or counties; some also own their own affordable rental properties to rent to area residents who cannot afford the normal rents in the area. Most PHA's also administer the federal rental voucher program usually known as "Section 8". If you cannot find affordable housing on your own, or wish to apply for Section 8 housing, your local Public Housing Authority may be able to help. Click the link below to see a list of all the PHA's in Missouri. In some cases, your local Community Action Agency office will also be your Public Housing Authority.

Public Housing Authorities

Missouri Centers for Independent Living

Centers for Independent Living

The Centers for Independent Living (CIL's) are located throughout Missouri and help people with disabilities achieve greater independence in their daily lives through community-based support. Their activities include helping disabled people find housing appropriate to their needs. Click the link below for a complete list of the Missouri Centers for Independent Living.

Centers for Independent Living Website

Midwest Special Needs Trust

The Midwest Special Needs Trust is a Missouri 501(c)(3) established by state statute in 1989 to assist people with disabilities. Through its Charitable Trust, MSNT provides, on an ongoing basis, grants to cover a wide range of needs, many of which are housing-related. These can include grants for assistive technology such as the construction of wheelchair ramps. Applicants must be U.S. citizen Missouri residents and considered disabled by the Social Security Administration. Other eligibility requirements are here.

Information About Rental Assistance, Subsidized Home Loans, and Home Renovation Assistance: "Missouri's Guide to Housing Assistance Programs"

Missouri's Guide to Housing Assistance Programs

The Department of Mental Health participated in the production of this comprehensive guide to state and federal housing assistance resources. "Missouri's Guide to Housing Assistance Programs" includes information on rent subsidy programs, first-time home buyers programs and renovation assistance programs. It also has detailed contact information for dozens of agencies all over the state that provide housing assistance in a variety of forms.

Click the link below to download this publication. You can also email the Housing Unit and request the publication to be emailed to you.

Missouri's Guide to Housing Assistance Programs

Other Housing Resources

If you would like to have your housing organization's Web site listed in this section, please contact the Housing Unit.