Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance Awards More Than $250 Million to Kansans in Need
More than 75,000 Kansans and 10,000 housing and service providers have received more than $250 million in rental and utility assistance, preventing thousands of evictions and providing vital services to more than 30,000 families at risk of losing their homes.
A year and a half after the temporary initiative launched, the program has nearly exhausted all funds and will wind down in the coming months.
The Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program, established in March 2021 with federal pandemic relief funds, provides up to 18 months of rent, utility and internet assistance for households experiencing financial hardship. Rental assistance is paid directly to housing and service providers, helping landlords cover their operating costs and keep up with essential maintenance and repairs, stimulating the local economy.
Officials anticipate that remaining program funds will be fully expended in the coming weeks and have begun taking steps to close the program.
The closure process will follow three phases. Here's what this means for Kansas renters in need of assistance.
The Final Funding Phase: Applicants seeking KERA support should apply or reapply as soon as possible to be considered for final funding.
The Hold Phase: Once the program receives enough applications to fully expend all KERA funds, approval of new applications and re-certifications will be subject to availability of remaining funds. Applications and re-certifications submitted during Hold Phase will be placed on hold and will not be reviewed or processed unless sufficient program funds are available. Pending applications submitted before Hold Phase will continue to be processed until the final application is paid.
And the Closure Phase: When all program funds are exhausted the program will close and will stop accepting new applications.
The KERA program is now in Final Funding Phase. The length and dates of each phase will be subject to a variety of factors, including application volume and amount of assistance requested. Each program closure phase will be announced on the KERA web page.
Prior to the KERA program, Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) administered the Kansas Eviction Prevention Program (KEPP), a federal CARES Act funded initiative to provide rental assistance to Kansans who had fallen behind on rent payments due to the pandemic. KEPP provided more than $17 million to more than 10,000 Kansas households, ultimately serving 21,642 Kansas residents and more than 4,000 housing providers.
The Kansas Homeowner Assistance Fund remains open and is currently accepting applications. KHRC's ongoing housing programs will continue to serve Kansans beyond the closure of the KERA program.
For more information and to apply for KERA, visit kshousingcorp.org/emergency-rental-assistance.
(Information courtesy KHRC.)