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Emergency Rental/Utility Assistance Program Available in Kansas
A street corner during the day. It's the junction of 6th street and Minnesota Avenue.

Emergency Rental/Utility Assistance Program Available in Kansas

Rent, Utility, and Internet-Access Assistance Offered

(KANSAS CITY, Ks)—The Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program was launched on March 15th. This new program providing rent, utility, and internet-access assistance to households experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic is now accepting applications. The KERA program application deadline is August 1st. This August deadline will allow state staff to process as many applications as possible in anticipation of obligating at least 65 percent of the allocated program funds by September 30th, 2021.

The assistance covers up to 12 months of rent and rental arrears (money past due), up to three months of prospective rent at a time, even if the household does not have rental arrears, and past due residential utility and home energy (electric, gas, water, sewer and trash services), and internet costs.

The KERA program is funded through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, which provided the state of Kansas nearly $200 million in rental assistance funding. The Kansas Housing resources Corporation (KHRC) serves as the administrator of the majority of these funds through the KERA program.

Those eligible to apply include tenants who rent their home, tenants whose
2020 household income did not exceed 80% of the area’s median income,
households where at least one member is experiencing documented financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or at least one member of the household is uncertain of where they will stay or may become homeless without housing assistance.

To apply for the program, both the tenant and their landlord must apply online
via a joint application process. The landlord completes online certification and the tenant submits the online application. The landlord and tenant are then notified when the application is processed. If approved, the landlord and or/service provider receive funds directly from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC). The landlord and or/service provider than applies assistance to the tenant’s account.

To learn more about the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance Program, the
qualification and application process, visit the KHRC website at https://kshousingcorp.org/emergency-rental-assistance/ or call them at 785-217-2001.

The Process After Application for BPU Customers: When a customer makes an application for these funds from the state of Kansas, they will receive a proof of prequalified application notice back from the state just identifying their application as submitted.

Applicants must notify BPU Customer Service as soon as they receive the email
application notice from the state. BPU will allow the customer to receive
service for 30 days without disconnection while it works with the state of
Kansas to gain a better understanding of the KERA’s process and adjust
accordingly. If the customer’s prequalified application is rejected, they must also contact BPU and the utility will advise the customer on making application for other assistance they may qualify for. When BPU customers receive their application notice, they should not only call customer service at 913-573-9190 but also send their notice from the state to docs@bpu.com.

BPU customers are encouraged to stay current with their bills to avoid getting too far behind and if anyone has any BPU billing or customer service questions, they can call 913-573-9190 and a utility representative is available to assist.

About BPU

BPU’s water department was originally created in 1909, and its electric utility was operational in 1912. The purpose of the utility, then and to this day, is to provide the highest quality electric and water services at the lowest possible cost. Today the publicly owned utility serves approximately 63,000 electric and 53,000 water customers, primarily in Wyandotte County, Kansas. The mission of the utility and its employees is “to focus on the needs of our customers, to improve the quality of life in our community while promoting safe, reliable and sustainable utilities.” BPU’s Web site is www.bpu.com.

 
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