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Eviction Relief Fund can provide rent, utility assistance
By Crystal Staley/Sebastian Kitchen
Frankfort, KY - In partnership with the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC), Gov. Andy Beshear relaunched the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund on Thursday, with an additional $264 million to keep Kentuckians safe and housed throughout the pandemic.
Starting February 15, 2021, tenants who qualify can apply for rent and utility assistance to cover their past-due and future bills. If approved, lump sum, direct payments will be made to landlords and utility providers.
All of the funds will offer the same benefits to approved applicants - 100% of past-due rent, dating back to April 2020 - and up to three months of future payments.
Those applying through the Team Kentucky portal also can receive help with past-due and future utility bills. More information is available at teamkyhherf.ky.gov.
"The Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund follows earlier, similar efforts to help our people stay in their homes, while also providing relief to landlords and utility companies," said Gov. Beshear. "This is so important. With more Kentuckians rolling up their sleeves and receiving these safe and effective vaccines, we see the light at the end of the tunnel growing brighter by the day. But it will take months before everyone can receive their shot of hope, and until then, we need to ensure our people can stay healthy at home as much as possible."
"Nearly a year into the pandemic, Kentuckians are still grappling with the economic effects of COVID-19," said Winston Miller, KHC executive director. "This assistance will help keep renters housed, allow landlords to get substantial payments for back rent and reduce the number of evictions in Kentucky courts."
The U.S. Treasury Department recently allocated $297 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to the state of Kentucky, Lexington-Fayette County Urban County Government and Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government to help renters impacted economically by COVID-19. The money will be distributed as three separate programs:
"Throughout the pandemic, many households have struggled with expenses," said Wendy Smith, KHC's deputy director of housing programs. "This essential eviction relief can help renters get caught up on rent and utilities."
The Beshear administration offered a similar plan last year - from September to December, the state helped 4,135 households avoid eviction with nearly $15 million in assistance. The new fund's structure and requirements are similar to those of the original Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund:
"If a tenant is evicted, this fund cannot cover past-due bills. If the utility gets shut off, we won't be able to get a prompt direct payment to the utility," said Gov. Beshear.
Finally, he announced that a third party can help tenants apply if a tenant does not have access to a smart phone or computer, or if they are elderly or disabled. This could be family, a friend, fellow church member, caseworker, community organization staff member and so on. The helper will be able identify themselves as someone helping the applicant and can provide contact information in case we need to gather more information.
This story was posted on 2021-02-12 04:28:36
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