Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA)
Home has never been more important. Our homes have always provided shelter, but in the midst of the COVID pandemic, home has also become our virtual classroom, workplace, marketplace, and gathering space.
While moratoriums have provided tenants with protection from eviction and temporary assistance has helped some tenants cover rent payments, the bills continue to accrue each month, leaving families unsure how they will pay arrears, and leaving landlords without income.
KERA serves Kansans, including those residing in the city of Wichita, who have had difficulty paying or collecting rent, utility, or internet payments due to the COVID pandemic.
The Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program is funded through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. Governor Kelly designated Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) to serve as the administrator of the majority of these funds through the KERA program.
The Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (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.
KERA METRICS TO DATE
Total Applications Submitted
Applications in Process
KERA Metrics by County
View KERA statistics for each of the 105 Kansas counties.
Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Tenant rents their home, or is currently homeless.
- 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.
Applicants must not have received assistance from other sources for the same costs and time period for which they are requesting KERA assistance.
- Landlord and tenant jointly complete separate online certification.
- 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 providers(s) applies assistance to tenant account.
What does assistance cover?
- Up to 12 months of current and past due household rent.
- Up to three months of prospective household rent at a time, even if the household does not have rental arrears.
- Past due residential utility or home energy expenses for tenants (electric, as, water, sewer, and trash services), even if the household does not have rental arrears.
- Past due or prospective internet expenses for tenants, paid in one lump sum of $600, provided the tenant household is also eligible for assistance with for past-due rental or utility bills.
- Additional fees associated with past-due rent or utility bills, including: reasonable late fees, rental security deposits, application or screening fees, pet fees, utility fees, parking fees, garage fees, and/or legal fees.
Note: All expenses must have been billed or charged April 1, 2020 or later
Need help completing or submitting your KERA application? Our community partners are standing by to assist you. Use our search tool to find the partner serving your county, and contact their team for support.
Governor Laura Kelly and Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) this week announced the launch of the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program to provide 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 household rent and past due residential utility and internet bills. Utilities covered may include electric, gas, water, sewer, trash removal, and home energy costs. 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 21,642 Kansans.
“Home has always been a place of shelter, but during the pandemic it’s become so much more,” said Ryan Vincent, KHRC’s Executive Director. “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.
Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) is a self-supporting, nonprofit, public corporation committed to helping Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. KHRC serves as the state’s housing finance agency (HFA), administering essential housing and community programs to serve Kansans.
Kansans struggling to cover rent and utility payments due to COVID may qualify for up to 12 months of emergency assistance thanks to new federal relief aid. The initiative, funded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, provides the state of Kansas with $200 million to support housing stability and prevent evictions and homelessness. Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) and the City of Wichita will administer the funds.
“Home has never been more important,” said Ryan Vincent, KHRC Executive Director. “Home has always been a place of shelter, but in the midst of the pandemic it’s also become our virtual workplace, classroom, and gathering space. Rental assistance protects Kansans’ access to home when they need it most.”
”In unprecedented times of hardship, it’s imperative that we step up to provide security to those in need,” said Sally Stang, Director of Housing and Community Services for the City of Wichita. “Everyone needs a little help now and then, and we want to ensure that families and individuals who need help to stay in their homes receive it.”
Tenants may qualify for assistance if they earn no more than 80 percent of their area’s median income, are experiencing documented financial hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic, and may be at risk of housing instability or homelessness without assistance.
Wichita residents may apply for assistance through the Wichita Emergency Rental Assistance Program (WERAP) administered by the city’s Housing and Community Services division. The city’s online application will open on Monday, Feb. 22.
Kansans living outside the Wichita city limits may apply for assistance through the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program administered by KHRC. The online KERA application will open on Monday, March 15.
The KERA and WERAP programs come on the heels of the Kansas Eviction Prevention Program (KEPP), a $20 million assistance initiative administered by KHRC with federal CARES Act funding. In the roughly 60 days that the program was in statewide operation, KHRC received 10,138 applications for more than $25 million requested in assistance, representing 27,200 Kansans financially impacted by COVID.
Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) is a self-supporting, nonprofit, public corporation committed to helping Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. KHRC serves as the state’s housing finance agency (HFA), administering essential housing and community programs to serve Kansans. This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number ERA0032 awarded to Kansas Housing Resources Corporation by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
KERA in the News
This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number ERA0032 awarded to Kansas Housing Resources Corporation by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.