LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Gov. Andy Beshear announced the relaunch of the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund Thursday with an additional $297 million to help keep Kentuckians in their homes for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. The fund is being relaunched in partnership with the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC).
Recipients who have fallen behind in their rent payments can receive assistance with 100% of previous outstanding payments dating back to April 2020 and get up to three months of future payments.
A program similar to this one was offered by the Beshear administration last year. More than $15 million was provided by the state to 4,135 households from September to December.
“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,” Beshear said during his daily COVID briefing Thursday.
Starting Feb. 15, tenants who meet the criteria can apply for financial assistance to cover their utility and rent costs. After getting approved, landlords and utility providers will receive lump-sum payments directly through the fund.
The U.S. Treasury allocated the $297 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government, Lexington-Fayette County Urban County Government, and the rest of the state as three separate groups:
KHC executive director Winston Miller said the relaunch of the eviction relief fund is just as necessary now as last year.
“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,” Miller said in a statement.
This fund has a similar structure and the same requirements as the original Health at Home Eviction Relief Fund:
- Renters in the 118 counties covered by the state program must have at least one household member who experienced one of the following during the pandemic: qualified for unemployment benefits; experienced a reduction in income; or experienced other financial hardship.
- Renters must be at risk of eviction as evidenced by a pending court eviction, or a past-due notice.
- Tenants must meet certain income guidelines. An income calculator is available at teamkyhherf.ky.gov.
- Household income must not exceed 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted by county and for household size.
- Income determination will be based on the documents the tenant submits with their application.
- Tenants can submit either their 2020 IRS tax return or documentation of income for the past 60 days (paystubs/unemployment insurance statements, etc.). They should submit whichever demonstrates that they fall under the program income limits.
- To qualify, both the landlord and tenant should apply at teamkyhherf.ky.gov. Applications are processed more quickly when both the landlord and the tenant apply online.
- Maximum rent relief: 100% of past-due rent since April 1, 2020, and three months future rent.
- Maximum utility relief: 100% of past-due utilities since April 1, 2020, and three months of future utilities. Assistance can cover gas, electric, water, sewer and/or wastewater bills.
- If approved, lump sum, direct payments will be made to landlords and utility providers.
- Landlords must forgive any late fees, penalties and interest related to non-payment of rent.
- Landlords must also agree to not begin eviction proceedings until at least 45 days after the period covered by assistance.
- Tenants/landlords may reapply subject to funding availability.
More information about the program can be found at teamkyhherf.ky.gov.