TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansans are starting to get state funds to help with their housing and utilities.
Governor Laura Kelly says the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation has started to distribute relief funds to applicants of the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance program to make sure families still under financial strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic can stay in their homes, warm and connected.
“While our economy and our employment outlook have greatly improved over the last several months, there are still Kansas families across the state who – due to financial challenges caused by the pandemic – need assistance to meet their needs for housing, heating, and connectivity,” Governor Kelly said. “I appreciate KHRC for its tireless work to ensure that households in our state get the support they need as quickly as possible.”
According to Gov. Kelly, KHRC was able to quickly build on the success of previous rental program efforts and was one of the first to fully launch its Emergency Rental Assistance program. She said understanding the urgent need of households throughout the State, KHRC is proud to issue its first batch of payments just three weeks after its launch.
Gov. Kelly said applications for the program opened on March 15, and the first payments were made during the week of March 29.
According to the Kansas Governor, the KERA program offers tenants up to 12 months of assistance with current or past due rent and past-due utility and internet bills, including electric, gas, water, sewer, trash removal and home energy services. She said renters can apply for assistance with all, some or any of the services offered.
Gov. Kelly said both tenant and landlord are required to apply online. She said if the applicant meets the eligibility criteria, KHRC will make payments on their behalf directly to the landlord or service providers.
According to Gov. Kelly, the KERA program is still accepting applications. She said to ensure applications are processed in a timely manager, applicants are required to provide copies of the following:
- Past-due utility bill or overdue rent or eviction notice
- Signed lease identifying the residential unit and the rental payment amount
- 2020 Federal Income Tax Return as filed with the IRS. If the tenant has not filed yet, their W-2 wage statement and all IRS 1099 forms are acceptable.
- Proof of identification, including a current state-issued photo ID, court filing notice or mail from a federal, state, county or city agency displaying the rental unit’s address.
Gov. Kelly said correspondence throughout the cycle will be through email. She said applicants will get automated notification emails when their applications are received and processed.
According to the Kansas Governor, applicants that have submitted complete applications but have not gotten KERA confirmation emails should check their junk or spam folders and add the KERA address to their contacts or safe sender list to make sure notifications are received.
Gov. Kelly said applicants should respond to any inquiries or requests from KERA staff as soon as possible.
“Keeping Kansans safely housed and connected to their communities and essential services is more important than ever,” said Ryan Vincent, KHRC’s Executive Director. “We’re so pleased to partner with state leaders in offering this crucial assistance when Kansans need it most.”