Governor encourages Kentuckians to apply for remaining $152 million

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear said the state has paid more than $65 million in rent and utility relief to Kentuckians during the pandemic, including more than $51 million since March, to help keep them in their homes and keep their electricity and water on.

The Governor encouraged Kentuckians to apply for the remaining $152 million available to Kentuckians for rent and utility assistance.

“We know this is a difficult time, and we will continue to work tirelessly with our partners to provide rent and utility relief to Kentucky families,” said Gov. Beshear. “I encourage Kentuckians to apply for the $152 million in available assistance so we can keep them in their homes.”

Early in the pandemic, Gov. Beshear created the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund to help Kentuckians stay in their homes.

In 2020, in partnership with the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the commonwealth utilized federal Coronavirus Relief Funds and Team Kentucky funds to provide Kentuckians with more than $14.6 million in rental assistance to 4,140 households over four months.

This year, Kentucky received $297 million in federal funds for three relief programs: one in Lexington, one in Louisville and one for the rest of the state. Louisville received about $22.8 million and Lexington received about $9.6 million from the federal government for their programs.

With the $264 million available for the other 118 counties, Gov. Beshear relaunched the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund to keep Kentuckians safe and housed throughout the pandemic. Kentucky was one of the first six states to launch this program.

Since March, Kentucky has paid out $51.1 million in rent and utility assistance to 9,727 Kentucky households. This is an average of more than $5,200 per household. This includes $45.1 million in rent assistance and $6.4 million in utility assistance.

The relief program is key to helping tenants, landlords and utilities weather the pandemic. Over 90% of payments have been made directly to landlords and utilities across the state.

In July, Kentucky paid out more than $11.1 million to Kentuckians followed by more than $9.3 million in August.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have turned over every stone to find ways to help Kentuckians during a difficult time,” said Gov. Beshear. “My top priorities in this pandemic are keeping our people healthy and keeping them in their homes.”

The program has received 17,257 completed applications. With the volume of applications, the Kentucky Housing Corporation has hired more team members and utilized vendors to help process applications and expedite assistance to Kentuckians.

Unfortunately, the fund has received more fraudulent applications in recent weeks, diverting staff time that would be used helping Kentuckians.

The commonwealth and Kentucky Housing Corporation are partnering with the Administrative Office of the Courts to divert as many evictions as possible. Kentucky Housing Corporation is fast tracking applicants with an eviction court case. County clerks are handing Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund flyers to landlords when they file for eviction. Kentucky Housing Corporation is mailing relief fund information to tenants and landlords with court cases.

If a tenant is facing eviction, they are encouraged to:

  • Apply for rent assistance.
  • Speak with their landlord to see if they can stay in their home while the application is processed.
  • Contact their local legal aid agency. A list is available here.
  • Attend their eviction hearing.
  • Ask the judge for additional time while they await their assistance through the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund.

On top of the funds initially allocated directly to the Jefferson and Fayette county programs by the U.S. Treasury Department, the state subgranted $38.7 million to those cities for their programs.

With the $51 million sent to Kentuckians, administrative costs and the $38.7 million transferred to Jefferson and Fayette counties, about $152 million remains available to assist Kentucky renters, landlords and utility providers.

All three programs offer the same benefits to Kentuckians. People who qualify can receive up to 15 months of rent and utility assistance, including up to 12 months of back rent and up to three months of future rent.

The Governor encouraged eligible tenants and landlords across Kentucky to apply for the remaining $152 million available for rent and utility assistance.

Find out more about the fund here: https://teamkyhherf.ky.gov/

To apply in Fayette County: covid19renterhelp.org

To apply in Jefferson County: stopmyeviction.org

Kentuckians can apply for and receive funds from the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund until Sept. 30, 2022 or until funds run out.

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