More than $290 million in rental, utility assistance awarded
A year and a half after Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) launched, the program has closed. More than $290 million provided relief for more than 82,000 Kansans and more than 11,000 housing and service providers, preventing evictions and providing vital services to more than 32,000 households.
“Home has never been more important,” said Ryan Vincent, Executive Director of Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC), which administered the KERA program. “In the midst of the pandemic, home became so much more than shelter—it became our virtual workplace, classroom, marketplace, gathering space, and more. Thanks to KERA, more than 30,000 Kansas families remained safely housed and connected to vital services at the time they needed it most.”
The Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program was established in March 2021 to lessen the financial burdens on renters and landlords impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal relief funds provided up to 18 months of temporary emergency rental, utility, and internet assistance for households at risk of homelessness or housing instability. Rental assistance was 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.
The robust disbursement of program funding has prevented evictions from taking a devastating toll on Kansas communities while keeping families stably housed in uncertain times. More than 2000 active evictions were halted and nearly 19,000 utility disconnections were stopped or reconnected thanks to KERA. More than 400 utility vendors, many of them rural community government entities, continued to collect monthly payments even when customers couldn’t cover their bills.
Prior to the KERA program, 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 in rental assistance to more than 10,000 Kansas households, ultimately serving 21,642 Kansas residents and 4,000 landlords.
Kansas in need of assistance following the closure of the KERA program may qualify for additional housing resources, some of which are administered by KHRC. KHRC’s ongoing housing programs will continue to serve Kansans beyond the closure of the KERA program.
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, administering essential housing and community programs to serve Kansans.