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New program helps prevent eviction

Staff writer

A federal ban on evictions has been extended three months, but a statewide housing finance agency also is providing $3 million a week in rent and utility assistance for qualifying renters.

The Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance program uses money provided through federal Coronavirus relief programs.

To be eligible, tenants must rent their homes and show documentation of financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Hardships could include unemployment benefits, reduction of income, or significant costs.

Both the tenant and the landlord must submit applications.

Tenants will have to provide past due utility bill, overdue rent, or eviction notice from between April 2020 and now; a signed lease with the address and rental payment amount; a 2020 federal income tax return as filed with the IRS or W-2 wage statement and all IRS 1099 forms if they did not file income taxes; and proof of identification.

Landlords and tenants apply jointly, using separate applications, and if the tenant is approved for funding, the money is paid to the landlord or utility provider to be applied to the tenant’s account.

The program will pay up to a year’s past due rent, up to three months of prospective rent even if the rent is not in arrears, past due utility bills even if the household is not in arrears on rent, up to $600 for Internet expenses if the household is eligible for rent or utility assistance, and additional fees associated with past due rent or utilities.

To apply for the program online, go to the Kansas Housing Commission website at https://kshousingcorp.org/emergency-rental-assistance/

People who don’t have access to the Internet can call Mid-Kansas Community Action Program at (316) 775-3000 for help.

Households could qualify if their incomes are below $37,250 for a family of one; $42,600 for a family of two; $47,900 for a family of three; $53,200 for a family of four; $57,500 for a family of five; or $61,750 for a family of six.

Last modified Aug. 4, 2021

 

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