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Governor Laura Kelly Announces Kansans are Receiving Critical Funds for Housing, Utilities

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly

Governor Laura Kelly has announced that the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) has begun distributing relief funds to applicants of the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program to ensure families still under financial strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic can stay in their homes, stay warm and stay 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.”

KHRC was able to quickly build on the success of prior rental program efforts and was one of the first states to fully launch its Emergency Rental Assistance program. Understanding the urgent need of households throughout the state, KHRC is proud to be issuing its first batch of payments just three weeks after the program's launch.

Applications for this program opened on March 15 and the first payments were made last week.

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. 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).

The KERA program is still accepting applications. You can apply to KERA here.

To ensure applications are processed in a timely manner, applicants must provide copies of the following documentation:

  • 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 tenant hasn't filed 2020 federal income taxes, 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 rental unit's address.

Applications submitted without this documentation are considered incomplete and will not be processed until all materials are received.

Correspondence throughout the processing cycle will take place via email. Applicants will receive automated notification emails when their applications are received and processed.

Applicants who have submitted complete applications but have not received a KERA confirmation email should check their junk or spam folders and add the KERA address to their contacts or safe sender list to ensure future notifications are received.

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.”

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.

(Information courtesy Office of the Governor.)