How Kansans can get help with rent, utilities during pandemic, millions still available

Kansas

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansans are still eligible for help with rent, utilities and internet service if they have been adversely affected financially by the pandemic.

“We have funds in place till 2025,” Communication Director for Kansas Housing Resources Corporation Emily Sharp told KSNT on Tuesday. “Anyone who is adversely affected financially by the pandemic can fill out a joint application with their landlord to apply.”

Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) is working to get the word out that there is still help for people whose hours have been cut, those who have lost their jobs, or are financially affected by the pandemic that is now stretching into the third year.

Applicants will be asked to show that they have experienced hardship due to COVID-19.

Sharp encourages those who have experienced COVID-19 hardship to submit an application and be responsive for follow-up conversations.

“What we are hearing from people across the state is not everyone knows there are resources for them,” Sharp said.

Applicants for financial assistance must meet the following criteria:

  • Tenant rents their home.
  • Tenant’s 2020 household income did not exceed 80 percent of their area’s median income.
  • At least one member of the tenant household is experiencing documented financial hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic. Hardship may include loss of employment, reduction in household income, or significant COVID-related expenses (medical bills, personal protective equipment, child care costs, equipment or internet costs to enable online work/schooling, etc.).
  • At least one member of the tenant household is uncertain where they will stay or may become homeless without housing assistance.
  • Applicant can provide valid proof of identification.

To date, Kansans have submitted 31,569 applications, KERA has served 13,281 households and has 5,692 applications in progress.

Shawnee County residents have received a total of $10,031,271 in financial assistance.

The help is available to all counties in Kansas.

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