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Posted on: September 8, 2021

Don't Evict. Apply for KERA

Dont Evict - Apply for KERA

Don’t evict. Apply for KERA. The Manhattan MSA (Riley, Geary, Pott Counties) has an estimated $9,155,630 in outstanding rental arrears. In other words, renters in the Manhattan area owe property owners over $9M in back rent. The estimates are drawn from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey data that was sorted into counties by researchers at Surgo Ventures on July 31, 2021. In relation to the state, Manhattan MSA accounts for nearly 7% of total rental arrears in Kansas. 

Last week, HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge issued a statement calling on state and local jurisdictions to take every action they can to safeguard their most vulnerable residents – and calling on every landlord, every housing owner, and every partner that receives HUD’s support to do all they can to help protect vulnerable renters in their communities. Secretary Fudge also issued a joint letter with the Departments of Treasury and Justice to governors, mayors, county executives, and chief justices and state court administrators to issue their own moratoria, stay evictions while rental assistance applications process, and use Emergency Rental Assistance and state and local Fiscal Recovery funds to enhance tenant access to legal representation.

Connecting people with rent and utility relief – Manhattan Housing Authority is working with the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) to connect Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) to tenants and landlords behind on rent and utilities. Throughout this year, HUD has brought expertise on housing programs to Treasury, providing advice and assistance on program design and implementation, and engaged HUD-approved housing counseling agencies. As part of a whole-of-government approach, they have called on state and local Emergency Rental Assistance Program grantees to lean into the flexibilities provided in this program and get assistance out quickly to those who need it the most.

The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation and Manhattan Housing Authority’s message to area landlords is simple: Don’t evict. Apply for KERA. Make yourselves whole. If landlords evict, they won’t be eligible to recoup the rental arrears to which they are entitled through the KERA program.

To date, the KERA program has provided almost $35 million in rental and utility assistance to more than 6,000 Kansas households. The KERA dashboard is updated weekly--check out current numbers online www.kshousingcorp.org/emergency-rental-assistance 

The KERA program is currently aiding Kansas tenants, landlords, and service providers each week at a rate of $2-$3 million and roughly 500 households. Since KERA launched earlier this year, the state has processed 450 applications in the Manhattan MSA. Those 450 applications total $1,705,847 in direct payments to local property owners for rental arrears. It breaks down by county in the following way: (Riley County 235 applications $956,249.30), (Geary County 200 applications $662,905.57) (Pottawatomie County 15 applications $86,691.83)

The Manhattan Housing Authority is hopeful to launch a Bridge to Housing Stability program with future assistance from the state that will meet eviction prevention, rapid-rehousing, and ensure that Strength-Based Case Management is coupled with Housing-First approaches in the Manhattan area. 

The KERA funding lasts through 2025, and they anticipate that they have sufficient resources to meet statewide needs. They are not going to run out of funds. Don’t evict. Apply for KERA 

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