Emergency Rental Assistance program opens Monday for Wichitans

Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 6:52 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansans struggling to cover rent and utility payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic could qualify for help, thanks to federal relief.

Starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, those who live within the city limits of Wichita will be able to apply for the Wichita Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Many Wichitans plan to apply in the morning, including Adrian Flores.

Flores was laid off from his automotive job in April when the shop closed due to the pandemic. Since then, they’ve reopened but only at half capacity.

“Got laid off because of the pandemic and my knees kind of bad. So it’s hard to get a physical labor job right now,” Flores said. “When I was getting my unemployment, I would pay up a month ahead and we’d keep our bills paid. So I was paid up until the end of January. Then I’ve been locked out of my claim, we ran out of money”.

Flores has been in contact with his landlord who is aware of the Wichita Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Director of Housing and Community Service for the City of Wichita, Sally Stang, said tenants will need to apply for the aid and provide contact information for their landlords and utility providers so funds can be sent directly to them.

Those who need help could qualify for up to 12 months of emergency assistance.

“We have to receive documentation of the negative financial impact, documentation of income, all of that spelled out in a grant requirement,” Stang said.

She said the applications will process a lot quicker if all documents are submitted.

“Their 2020 income which would mean their 1040 form with all attachments. So all W2s, 1099s. Or we need the income verification for the last 60 days, so every check stub, every child support statement, social security statement, every form of income for all members of the household,” Stang said.

Once an application is completed accurately, it should take about a week to get the funds sent out.

If you live outside the city limits of Wichita and need help, the state of Kansas is hoping to open its emergency rental assistance program mid-march.

To apply for the Wichita Emergency Rental Assistance Program, click here.

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