FRANKFORT, KY — Gov. Andy Beshear relaunched Kentucky's Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund on Thursday to help tenants struggling to pay rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the economy.
Beshear said the fund is being relaunched in partnership with the Kentucky Housing Corporation with an additional $264 million.
Those who qualify can apply for help with both their past-due and future rent and utility bills. If approved, the fund will make lump sum direct payments to the tenant's landlord and/or utility provider. The maximum amount of rent relief is 100% of past-due rent since April 1, 2020, and three months of future rent. The maximum amount of utility bill relief is 100% of past-due utilities since April 1, 2020, and three months of future utility bills. The fund can be used for gas, electric, water, sewer and/or wastewater bills.
The application process begins Feb. 15. To qualify, the governor's office says the tenant and the landlord should both apply at teamkyhherf.ky.gov. Applications will be processed more quickly if both tenant and landlord apply, Beshear's office says.
The governor says tenants who don't have access to smartphones or computers or who are elderly or disabled can have a third party — such as a family member, friend, caseworker, community organization staff member, fellow church member, or other helper — assist them with the application process.
Beshear's office says the relaunched fund's structure and requirements are as follows:
- 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.