KERA to close soon with $250 million used to help pay Kansans’ rent
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - More than $250 million has been used to pay rent and help with utilities from the KERA program, which will soon close.
The Kansas Housing Resource Corporation says that as of Saturday, Oct. 8, more than 75,000 Kansans and 10,000 housing and service providers have received more than $250 million in rental and utility assistance to prevent thousands of evictions and provide vital services to more than 30,000 families.
KHRC said that 1.5 years after the launch of the temporary Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance program, nearly all funds have been exhausted and the program will soon wind down.
KHRC noted that KERA was established in March 2021 with federal COVID-19 pandemic relief funds to provide up to 18 months of rent, utility and internet assistance for homes going through financial hardship.
KERA rental assistance is paid straight to housing and service providers which help landlords cover operating costs and keep up with essential maintenance and repairs to stimulate the economy.
KHRC indicated that officials anticipate the remainder of the funds to be completely spent in the coming weeks and have started to take steps to close the program. The program closure will happen in the following three phases:
- Final Funding Phase - Applicants who seek KERA support should apply or reapply as soon as possible to be considered.
- Hold Phase - Once the program receives enough applications to fully expanded funds, the approval of new applications will be subject to the availability of remaining funds.
- Closure Phase - When all program funds are exhausted, the program will close and will stop accepting new applications.
KHRC noted that KERA is in the final funding phase, however, the amount of time of each phase will be subject to factors including application volume and amount of assistance required.
While KERA may close, KHRC said that the Kansas Homeowners Assistance Fund will remain open and is still accepting applications. It said its ongoing housing programs will continue to serve Kansans beyond the closure of the program.
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