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Joplin City Council approves resolution to bring more funding for financial assistance

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Joplin City Council has approved a resolution that creates more funding to provide financial assistance for low-income renters affected by the tornado.
    
An amendment to the $45 million Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery action plan has been approved by the council unanimously.
The resolution will shift $500,000 from land acquisition efforts to provide financial assistance for low-income renters affected by the tornado and further repairs.
Some Joplin residents say it is money well spent.
"I think it's important for people to get proper assistance to get housing, especially the ones in need," said Mike McManigal, Joplin resident.
"There are a lot of people out here that live on disability like myself, and low-income housing helps us," said Sonja Copeland, Joplin resident.
Of the $500,000, $290,000 will go towards the Joplin Housing Authority's rental assistance program.
Organizers say about 85 voucher holders in their section 8 program were affected by the tornado.  This funding will help cover the cost of putting all those vouchers back into use.
"There was not enough money in our program to pay for the cost of all those additional vouchers and this money will go towards covering those shortfalls," said Matt Moran, Executive Director of Joplin Housing Authority.
And $210,000 will go towards repairs at yards and parking lots that are not covered by FEMA or insurance.
 
"All the equipment that went through really tore up some of the yards, this will give us a chance to repair some of those and maybe add some plantings," Moran said.
Councilman Jack Golden says this funding was crucial for the program, due to having no property to rent following the tornado.
"They had a lot of vacancies, which caused the potential of not getting enough funding to carry on the program in the future," Golden said.
 
However, he says with this resolution, that is no longer the case.

"Now they're going to have the funds to get whole again and continue operations as they did before the storm," Golden said.
This is the second amendment to the CDBG Disaster Recovery action plan. 
Now that it has been approved, Joplin Housing Authority officials say they can proceed with further recovery efforts.
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