The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation launched the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program on Mon., March 15. The KERA program provides rent, utility, and internet assistance to households experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic. Landlords and tenants apply via a joint online process. If the application is approved, the landlord or service provider receives funds directly from KERA and applies KERA funds to the applicant’s account. Approved applicants are eligible for up to 12 months of assistance.
What does assistance cover?
- Up to 12 months of current and past due household rent
- Up to three months of prospective rent at a time, even if the household does not have rental arrears
- Past due residential utility, home energy (electric, gas, water, sewer, and trash services), and internet expenses incurred since April 1, 2020.
Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Tenant MUST rent their home. Must be the household’s primary residence, located in Kansas, and tenant must have a written lease agreement or other suitable documentation. If the tenant doesn’t have a signed lease, documentation includes proof of utility payments, attestation by the landlord, or records showing payments to the landlords.
- Tenant’s 2020 household income does not exceed 80% 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, childcare costs, equipment or internet costs to enable online work/schooling, etc.).
- At least one member of the tenant household must demonstrate a risk of homelessness or housing instability. Documentation must be dated after April 1, 2020 and can include a past due utility bill, a past due rent notice, or an eviction notice.
- Valid proof of identification. Applicant must provide one of the following: Current driver’s license or state-issued photo ID, utility or cell phone bill, court filing notice, or mail from a federal, state, county, or city agency.
Applicants must not have received assistance from other sources for the same costs and time period for which they are requesting KERA assistance. Applications will be checked against the LIEAP list of Kansans served. If applicants have received LIEAP benefits in 2021 they will be eligible for utility assistance only after LIEAP benefits have been applied to their bill.
- Landlord completes online certification.
- Tenant submits online application.
- Landlord and tenant are notified when application is processed.
- If approved, landlord and/or service provider(s) receive funds directly from KHRC.
- Landlord and/or service provider(s) applies assistance to tenant account.
For more information on KERA, program details, FAQs, and to access the online application , visit https://kshousingcorp.org/emergency-rental-assistance/. Both tenant and landlord must apply online. Only one application per household. If the applicant meets the eligibility criteria, the KHRC will make payments on the tenant’s behalf directly to the landlord or service provider. The application deadline is August 1, 2021.