Rental Assistance Program

DMH's Rental Assistance Program (RAP) is a state-funded housing assistance program that has two primary functions, as described below.

FUNDING STATUSDMH Housing will be be accepting RAP one-time assistance applications during the month of December 2020. The submission dates are December 1 - 7, with applications due no later than 5 p.m. on 12/7/20.

Please be aware:

  • DMH only accepts RAP applications from mental health support service agencies. Applications coming directly from persons needing the assistance cannot be processed, and we do not send applications directly to persons needing assistance. If you believe you need RAP assistance and that you qualify, please have a case manager, community support worker, or other agency staff person you get services from send a request for an application to housing@dmh.mo.gov.
  • Only the most current version of the application will be processed. The most current version says "Revised 8/2020" in the lower right corner of each page. If the support services person doesn't have this version, they should send an email to housing@dmh.mo.gov requesting the current application, and the form will be emailed to them.
  • Applications are only accepted via email, not by fax. Encrypted email must be used to comply with HIPAA. If you're not sure how to encrypt email, check with your agency. You can also password-protect the application PDF instead of using encryption.

ALTERNATIVES TO RAP: Other assistance programs exist that do many of the same things RAP does, especially when it comes to utility assistance and eviction prevention. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many agencies have access to relief funds from the federal government. Always check these other options, especially during months when RAP funds are not available:

  • Check with the faith-based and non-profit relief agencies in your county. Many of them have access to funds through the CARES Act that reimburse them for relief activities associated with job loss due to COVID-19. These may include: Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, your local Community Action Agency, and other independent non-profits.
  • Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG): the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) oversees distribution of ESG funds to Missouri agencies. Many agencies receive funds for emergency homelessness prevention and short-term housing assistance. See this list of ESG funds awarded for 2021.
  • Missouri Housing Trust Fund (MHTF): MHDC also distributes funds from the Missouri Housing Trust fund, which provides some agencies with funds specifically for homeless prevention. See this list of MHTF funds awarded for 2020.
  • LIHEAP: The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can make one-time payments to assist households to pay a current utility bill, or to avoid a utility shutoff. 
  • Ameren Missouri offers the Clean Slate Program for customers impacted by COVID-19.
  • United Way 211 resource search site for Kansas City area and western Missouri counties.
  • Also see the DMH Housing Resources web page for a variety of housing resources listed by type.

One-Time Assistance

RAP one-time assistance (OTA) is provided to (1) prevent eviction and re-establish housing stability; and/or (2) assist households to move into safe and affordable rental housing. This assistance is intended to help households who can rent on their own once they have been assisted. Therefore, assisted households must, in practice, have stable income where rent and utilities do not exceed 50% of their income, and/or a permanent housing voucher such as a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher.

RAP ONE-TIME ASSISTANCE PAYS FOR:

Rental costs:

  • Up to three months of rent. This can include rent in arrears ("back rent"), and/or move-in costs: a security deposit (counts as one month's rent) and first month’s rent

Utility costs:

  • Utility deposits totaling up to $500
  • Past due utility bills totaling up to $600

Other costs directly related to preserving or accessing stable housing (considered on a case-by-case basis). Any eligible household may access all of the above-listed types of assistance once per year.

RAP ONE-TIME ASSISTANCE DOES NOT PAY FOR:
  • Costs associated with home ownership or mortgages
  • Late fees, court costs, or legal fees
  • Rental application fees
  • Future rent beyond the current month of the application
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:
  • The Applicant must be receiving mental health services and/or substance use disorder services from a DMH-contracted provider agency.
  • The Applicant’s household must be in an unstable situation that can be stabilized by one-time assistance (late rent, a notice to vacate received, a pending eviction, etc.); or, a situation that could be improved by moving into safer and more affordable rental housing (current rent cannot be sustained, housing is substandard, cannot afford move-in costs, etc.).
  • The Applicant must have a combined household income of no more than 50% of their Area Median Income.
APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIRMENTS:
  • Applications are only accepted during the first five business days of the month and must be received by DMH Housing during this time period in order to be considered for assistance (applications submitted after that date for the month will not be reviewed).
  • Applications must come from a community support worker or other employee of a service provider involved in providing community support services. That person and the Head of Household fill out the application jointly. Applications cannot be accepted directly from persons in need of assistance. Non-DMH agencies may submit one-time assistance applications as well, but the household must have a person actively engaged in DMH services in order to qualify.
GENERAL INFORMATION:
  • Timeline for processing: 
    • Applications are due by 5th working day of the month, by 5 p.m.
    • Any missing/required information and/or documents are due by the 10th working day of the month, by 5 p.m.
    • All applications that can be referred for assistance, based on eligibility and available funding, will be referred for payment no later then the 15th of the month
    • Payment should be mailed out by DMH's contractor agency (Economic Security Corp. in Joplin) no later than the 10th working day after the 15th of the month (mail date may be sooner depending on what day of the week the 15th falls on).
    • RAP one-time assistance is not emergency assistance, and cannot be arranged overnight. DMH strives to process all applications within the above timeframe, but the volume of requests may prevent this. Please be patient, and seek out other resources while waiting.
  • All payments are made directly to creditors: e.g., rental property owners, property management companies, public housing authorities, and/or utility companies. NO payments are made directly to the household that applied for assistance.
  • The support person who submitted the application will receive an email notifying them when the application has been approved and referred to the processing center for payment.  The support person or tenant can use this email as verification to the creditor that payment has been approved. DMH Housing does not do pledges to utility companies.
  • For questions about how to fill out an application, email housing@dmh.mo.gov.
  • Securely email scanned applications to housing@dmh.mo.gov (email must be encrypted or the application PDF must be password-protected to comply with HIPAA requirements).

Project-Based Rental Assistance

DMH contracts with support service providers around the state to provide rental assistance in supportive housing projects operated by these agencies. Some of the agencies are engaged in providing recovery support housing, while others provide supportive housing for persons with mental illness or dual diagnoses. Each agency has its own eligibility criteria for accessing their housing programs, but in general, applicants must be either receiving support services from the agency itself or from another DMH-contracted service provider.

DMH does not process applications for these housing programs. Contact the individual agency for eligibility information:

  • Amethyst Place, Kansas City. 816-231-8782
  • Compass Health Network, Clinton. 660-885-8131
  • Preferred Family Healthcare: Chloe Place Apartments in Hannibal, 660-342-2201; and Rauschenbach Place in St. Louis, 314-772-2205.

Rental Assistance Program Operations Manual

The Rental Assistance Program (RAP) Operations Manual sets out the policies and procedures the DMH Housing Unit follows in the administration of its state-funded housing assistance program. It is written to make RAP as open and transparent as possible.

The Manual is designed to be most easily used as a PDF document. It is extensively hyperlinked internally for easy navigation. It also has numerous links to external resources on the Web.

Forms in the Manual

All forms found in the RAP Operations Manual (excluding any found at non-DMH Web sites, such as HUD’s HQS Inspection form) can be accessed in Word or Excel format at the DMH Housing Web site. Click the link below to visit the DMH Housing Forms page.

RAP Operations Manual Revised March 11, 2020

DMH Housing published a revision of the RAP Operations Manual on March 11, 2020 (updates are found in Chapter 2 and do not substantially affect processing centers). Future updates will be posted here and updated sections will be noted with an asterisk in the section heading.

Click the link below to open, print, or save the RAP Operations Manual as a PDF file.