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Kansans urged to seek further assistance in closing KERA

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Kansan residents have been encouraged to apply for additional aid as Kansas’s Emergency Rent Assistance Program closes.

The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation said Wednesday, Feb. 1, that approximately a year and a half after the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance program launched, it is now closed. He said more than $290 million has been distributed to provide relief to more than 82,000 Kansasans and more than 11,000 homes and service providers. He noted that the move has 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, the home has become so much more than a refuge – it has become our virtual workplace, classroom, marketplace, gathering space and more. Thanks to KERA, more than 30,000 Kansas families are left in safe housing and connected to vital services when they need it most.

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

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

The robust disbursement of program funds has prevented evictions in Kansas communities and kept families stable in uncertain times, according to KHRC. He said more than 2,000 active evictions have been stopped and nearly 19,000 utility disconnections have been disrupted.

The Corporation has indicated that Kansans still in need could benefit from additional housing resources.

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