A program to provide Kansans impacted with COVID-19 income losses with their rent and utilities has now gone live. The program, initially announced last month by Gov. Laura Kelly is now accepting applications.
The Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program, administered by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) ca provide eligible Kansans rent, utility, and internet assistance. The 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. Renters can apply for assistance with all, some, or any one of the services offered.
Both tenant and landlord must apply online. If the applicant meets the eligibility criteria, KHRC will make payments on the tenant’s behalf directly to the landlord or service provider(s).
Last year KHRC administered the Kansas Eviction Prevention Program (KEPP), a nearly $20 million rental assistance initiative to support Kansans financially impacted by COVID. In the roughly 60 days that the program was in statewide operation, it received applications from more than 10,000 tenants and more than 4000 landlords, ultimately serving more than 21,000 Kansans.
A similar program, the Wichita Emergency Rental Assistance Program (WERAP) began taking applications last month for Wichita residents only. Individuals in Wichita should still apply for rental assistance through that program at Wichita.gov/housing.
To be eligible for the WERAP program: The household must have an income below 80% AMI. Households with an income of less than 50% AMI or households who were employed in 2020 but have been unemployed for the 90 days prior to application will be served first.
To be eligible for both program, the household must have an income below 80% of the Average Median Income for their area. Other requirements or priority status for the WERAP and Kera may vary sightly. For complete application requirements and procedures go online to their websites.
For KERA, go to https://kshousingcorp.org/emergency-rental-assistance/
For WERAP go to www.wichita.gov/housing
Both programs are funded through federal COVID relief funds.
Households with an income of less than 50% AMI or households who were employed in 2020 but have been unemployed for the 90 days prior to application will be served first.
The family must have past due rent and/or utilities and must have received an eviction notice or demand for payment.
The family must have a COVID-19 related economic impact such as loss of job, reduced hours, reduced tips, or increased childcare or medical expenses.
Dependent on funding availability, the program can provide funding for:
Past due rent & utilities
Future rent & utilities in three month increments with recertification of eligibility every 90 days
A total of 12 months of assistance (past due & future payments combined) The Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program is funded through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, which provided the state of Kansas nearly $200 million in rental assistance funding.
to individuals and families financially impacted by COVID-19.
“Keeping Kansans in their homes and businesses – and ensuring they have access to the high-speed internet needed for telehealth, telework, and virtual school – has been a top priority for my administration since day one,” Governor Kelly said. “This program will be critical in ensuring Kansans can stay secure in their homes, stay warm, and maintain access to the internet.”
“Home has always been a place of shelter, but during the pandemic it’s become so much more,” Ryan Vincent, KHRC’s Executive Director, said. “The outpouring of interest we saw in the KEPP program demonstrated the tremendous need COVID has created across our state. We’re so pleased to offer not just rent, but also utility and internet assistance so we can keep Kansans safely housed and connected when they need it most.”
The KERA program will initially serve Kansans across the state, except those living within the Wichita city limits. Wichita residents may apply for assistance through the
To learn more and apply for KERA assistance, visit the KHRC website.
Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) is a self-supporting, nonprofit, public corporation committed to helping Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. KHRC serves as the state’s housing finance agency (HFA), administering essential housing and community programs to serve Kansans.