Kansans urged to apply for additional assistance as KERA closes

FILE(KEYC Photo, File)
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 1:38 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansans have been encouraged to apply for additional aid as the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance program closes.

The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation says on Wednesday, Feb. 1, that about a year and a half after the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance program launched, it has now closed. It said more than $290 million was handed out to give relief to more than 82,000 Kansans and more than 11,000 homes and service providers. It noted that the move prevented evictions and provided vital services to more than 32,000 homes.

“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.”

KHRC indicated that KERA was established in March 2021 to lessen the financial impact on renters and landlords impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal funds provided up to 18 months of temporary relief for homes at risk of homelessness or housing instability.

The Corporation noted that the rental assistance was paid directly to housing and service providers, helped landlords cover their operating costs and kept up with essential maintenance and repairs to stimulate the local economy.

According to KHRC, the robust disbursement of the program funds has prevented evictions in Kansas communities and kept families stably housed in uncertain times. It said more than 2,000 active evictions were stopped and nearly 19,000 utility disconnections were ended.

The Corporation indicated that Kansans still in need could qualify for additional housing resources.