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.
Kansas communities will receive a funding boost to provide emergency housing services for citizens in need. The funds, made available through the federal Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program, will be awarded to local communities and nonprofit organizations to support Kansans experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
City of Lawrence officials used ESG funding to establish an emergency shelter campground and a temporary shelter at a local hotel. “This crucial funding has made our Woody Campground outreach program and our EconoLodge temporary shelter programs possible,” said City of Lawrence Assistant City Manager Brandon McGuire. “Without these supplemental ESG funds our community’s most vulnerable population would spend the winter unhoused and unconnected to the support they need. Because of this funding they are now sheltered and working with case managers to graduate them to the Rapid Re-Housing program, all while being safe in the pandemic atmosphere. We are very grateful to KHRC for the ability to utilize this funding for our community.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the ESG program supports local service partners that work to prevent homelessness and assist people experiencing homelessness. Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) serves as the state’s ESG program administrator. Grant awards help fund emergency shelters, rapid rehousing services, street outreach, homelessness prevention strategies, and more.
In addition to the 2020 ESG allocation of $1.5 million, the 2020 federal CARES Act provided $4.5 million in supplemental ESG funding to respond to housing needs created or exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Supplemental funding supports local government entities, nonprofit organizations, and community mental health centers across the state, providing housing and community services including emergency shelter operations and administration, domestic violence shelters, behavioral health services, and rental and utility assistance for Kansans at risk of eviction.
Service partners applied for funding through a competitive application process. Complete award details for both the 2020 ESG allocation and 2020 ESG supplemental CARES Act funding are available online.
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 primary administrator of federal housing programs for the state of Kansas.
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.
Customers of Kansas Gas Service, a division of ONE Gas Inc., may qualify for up to $5000 in weatherization-related home repair assistance thanks to a new partnership between the energy company and Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC), the state’s housing finance agency. The funding, made possible through an $80,000 grant from the ONE Gas Foundation, will finance essential home repairs and upgrades to enable weatherization services.
KHRC serves as administrator of the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program, a federal initiative to provide free weatherization services to income-eligible households. Weatherization services include upgrades and improvements to help homes operate more efficiently, such as sealing air leaks, installing insulation, and repairing or replacing heating and cooling systems. Weatherized homes are safer, more comfortable, more energy efficient, and less expensive to maintain, resulting in cost savings and health and wellness benefits for residents.
“Our partnership with Kansas Gas Service will provide crucial gap funding for the weatherization program,” said Scott Kuhn, KHRC’s Senior Weatherization Program Manager. “Often homes need simple repairs before weatherization services can be provided. If residents can’t afford the repairs, their homes may never receive weatherization assistance. Now with these funds, we can repair and weatherize homes at the same time and at no cost to the client.”
“Kansas Gas Service is pleased to support this impactful program that helps customers save money on energy costs and improve quality of life by providing a safer home environment,” said Kara Titus, Community Relations Area Manager for Kansas Gas Service. “This is part of our commitment to build sustainable communities for our current and future customers.”
Eligibility for the Weatherization Assistance Program is based on the applicant’s annual income and the home’s structural eligibility. Program funds are available until fully expended. To learn more and apply for assistance, contact your county’s Weatherization Service Provider.
Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) helps Kansans access the quality, 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. For more information about the Weatherization Assistance Program, please contact Senior Program Manager Scott Kuhn.
Kansas Gas Service (KGS) delivers clean, reliable natural gas service to more than 639,000 customers in 360 communities across the state and is the largest natural gas distributor in Kansas in terms of customers. A division of ONE Gas, Inc. (NYSE: OGS), KGS is a 100 percent regulated, publicly traded natural gas utility. ONE Gas is included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index and is one of the largest natural gas utilities in the United States. For more information, visit KGS online or on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
This year has shown us that home has never been more important. Home has always meant shelter and security. In the midst of a pandemic, home has become so much more. As we’ve had to adjust quickly, home has become the place where we receive our health care, educate our children, conduct business, and connect virtually for worship services, community meetings, and social gatherings. A year full of uncertainty and seemingly uncontrollable circumstances has caused me to hold closer to the thing that is most important: the health and safety of those I care most about. I have been fortunate to spend time with developers, advocates, and homeowners who all echo the same sentiment. Our mission—to provide Kansans access to the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve—has never been more important. Because everything we need can be found in a home, but in order for that to be true everyone must have a place to call home.
Please join us as we reflect on all we’ve accomplished together in our 2020 annual report. It was an extremely challenging but ultimately productive year. Our work and our progress continues, even during this challenging time.
Ryan Vincent | Executive Director
Kansans struggling to cover rent and utility bills may qualify for assistance, thanks to funds awarded by Kansas Housing. The funding, made possible through the state’s Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) program and funded through the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), helps income-eligible households afford rental subsidies, utility deposits, and security deposits. Assistance is administered by a network of 11 nonprofit grantees who serve communities across the state.
“A lack of quality, affordable housing across our state was a challenge even before COVID-19,” said Ryan Vincent, Kansas Housing’s Executive Director. “With the current pandemic, this shortage has become a crisis. We’re pleased to offer this support to keep Kansans in their homes during this time of critical need.”
Public housing authorities and non-profit organizations may apply for TBRA grants of up to $400,000 through a competitive annual process. Kansas Housing officials administer the program and award the funds based on a community’s housing needs, the number of households estimated to be served, the extent of the service area, and the organization’s experience administering TBRA funding.
This year’s award details are listed below. To apply for rental assistance, please contact the provider serving your area.
|Grantee||Award Amount||Service Provided||Area Served||Contact|
|Bert Nash||$90,000||Rental subsidies and security/utility deposit assistance for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI).||Douglas County||Gallal Obeid, 785-842-8110|
|City of Ellsworth||$50,000||Rental and security/utility deposit assistance for individuals or families at or below 60% of the area median income.||Ellsworth County||Deanne Hoch, 785-472-3348|
|Harvest America||$400,000||Rental subsidy and security/utility deposit assistance with a preference for very low income households.||Barber, Barton, Clark, Comanche, Edwards, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kiowa, Lane, Meade, Morton, Ness, Norton, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Rooks, Rush, Seward, Scott, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Trego, Wichita counties
|Terri Bookless, 913-342-2121|
|City of Independence||$90,000||Rental assistance for low income families, single parent households, people with disabilities, and/or seniors.||City of Independence||April Nutt or Molly Wright, 620-332-2536|
|Kim Wilson||$90,000||Rental subsidy and security deposit assistance for target population of people with SPMI, severe mental illness (SMI), or people navigating re-entry.||Wyandotte County||Michele Fox, 913-233-3362|
|City of Leavenworth||$85,000||Rental and security/utility deposit assistance for low income households, including those experiencing homelessness, single-parent households, domestic abuse/violence survivors, and those caring for seniors and people with disabilities.||City of Leavenworth||Lawrence Levine, 913-364-5840|
|NEKCAP||$300,000||Rental and security/utility deposit assistance for low- income Kansans.||Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Jefferson, Marshall, Nemaha counties.||Kristy Morey, 785-742-2222, ext. 156|
|Pittsburg Housing Authority||$90,000||Security deposit assistance program targeting single parent, senior, and homeless households.||Crawford county||Megan Keener, 620-232-1210|
|Riley County||$100,000||Security and utility deposit assistance for low-income households.||Chase, Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Geary, Jewell, Lincoln, Marion, Mitchell, Morris, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Republic, Riley, Saline, Wabaunsee counties.||Julie Govert Walter, 785-776-9294|
|SEK-CAP||$400,000||Rental subsidy and security/utility deposit assistance with preference for individuals or families experiencing homelessness.||Allen, Bourbon, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Crawford, Elk, Labette, Linn, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson, Woodson counties.||Timi Myers, 620-724-8204, ext. 1004|
|Valeo||$118,100||Rental subsidy and security deposit assistance to SPMI households.||Topeka / Shawnee county||Theresa Douthart, 785-233-1730|
Kansas Housing helps Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. To learn more about the TBRA program, contact Program Manager Cynthia Howerton or visit our website.
KHRC in the News