Kelly announces statewide rental, utility assistance for COVID-19 families
TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) launched the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program on Monday, March 15, providing rent, utility, and internet assistance 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.”
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.
“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 Wichita Emergency Rental Assistance Program (WERAP).
To learn more and apply for KERA assistance, visit the KHRC website.