The City of Dubuque is concerned over lack of housing assistance applications amid pandemic. Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Dubuque is a non-profit with a mission to reduce poverty. Its executive director, Tracy Morrison, said they have seen many people struggle because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been able to help people pay some of their rent by partnering with other non-profits, but Morrison recognized it is a problem that needs to be addressed quickly. Alexis Steger, the city of Dubuque’s Housing Director, says about 50 percent of the people in Dubuque were cost-burdened before the pandemic. This means they spent more than 30 percent of their gross income in housing. Steger says 25 percent were severely cost-burdened, which means between 40 and 50 percent of their gross income goes towards housing. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection eviction moratorium makes it illegal for landlords to evict tenants who can’t pay their bills. However, there is a catch. Steger said that, to get this protection, tenants must prove they have done their best efforts to receive government assistance. This could be a problem in Dubuque. The city’s Short-Term Assistance Program can assist with a portion of approved households’ rent, mortgage, or utilities for up to $1,000 for three months. Applicants’ income must have been reduced by at least 50 percent because of the pandemic in order to qualify. Steger said she met with City Council to discuss marketing and campaign strategies to spread the word about the program. Anyone interested in applying for the Short-Term Assistance Program should visit https://www.cityofdubuque.org/618/Housing-Community-Development.