Kentucky has newly available COVID-19 rent and utility relief! Starting Monday, February 15, Kentuckians can apply for assistance, dating back to April 2020. Governor Andy Beshear announced Thursday, February 11, that Kentucky recently received $297 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to help prevent evictions for renters impacted economically by COVID-19.
Funding from the U.S. Treasury was sent to three Kentucky jurisdictions – the state of Kentucky, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government. All three programs will offer the same rent assistance to approved applicants – 100 percent of past-due rent, dating back to April 2020, and up to three months of future payments.
Apply in Lexington-Fayette County: covid19renterhelp.org
Apply in Louisville-Jefferson County: stopmyeviction.org
For all other counties including Jackson:teamkyhherf.ky.gov
Those applying through the Team Kentucky and Fayette County portals can also apply for help with past-due and future utility bills. Jefferson County’s separate utility relief program is available via another link on its website.
The teamkyhherf.ky.gov application allows friends, family members, landlords and others to help tenants complete an online application.
For program details or to apply, visit teamkyhherf.ky.gov. KHC also has created fliers to help promote and explain the program. Click below to view each version:
A month ago Gov. Beshear announced up to $38 million is available to local governments to help Kentuckians with overdue utility bills in their jurisdiction. Each unit of local government may request up to $200,000 for assistance in their communities.
“Even with our victory over COVID-19 coming into sight, times are still tough for our families,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are grateful to be able to provide these funds, because they will ensure many Kentuckians won’t have to make the impossible choice between feeding their family and keeping the lights on.”
The Department for Local Government (DLG) will administer the funding from the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response (CDBG-CV) program established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“We want to get this assistance out the door as quickly as possible, because protecting Kentuckians is our number one priority,” said DLG Commissioner Dennis Keene. “We encourage local governments to submit applications as quickly as possible.”
To apply, local governments must submit an application to DLG. If approved, local governments must then partner with a community action agency to assist with funding administration. To simplify the process and fulfill that need, DLG has partnered with Kentucky’s 15 Area Development Districts (ADD) to assist units of local government, local nonprofit community service providers and eligible Kentuckians with their applications and administering funds.3
Households are eligible for up to $250 per month for six consecutive months if:
They live in a city or county approved for funding;
Have been financially impacted by COVID-19;
Are struggling to pay water, sewer, electric, gas or other heating and cooling bills; and
Have received notice for disconnect between January 21, 2020, and present day and/or up to two months following.
Once a household’s application is approved, the local nonprofit community service provider will transfer funds directly to a utility provider on their behalf.
Local governments can apply for CDBG-CV funds now by completing the application on DLG’s website.
County Judge Executive Shane Gabbard was very interested in securing this help for those Jackson County residents that may need help and qualify. Judge Gabbard commented, “It appears we can apply and then work with Cumberland Valley Area District Development and the Daniel Boone Community Action Agency to make sure families can get assistance if needed. My staff is working on getting the proper information now.”
This aid follows a previous fund set up by Gov. Beshear. In October 2020, the Governor created the Team Kentucky Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund by dedicating $15 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding. This fund is estimated to have helped over 63,000 individuals in more than 26,000 households through December of last year.
A third round of utility relief is forthcoming as Congress passed the Omnibus Appropriations and Coronavirus Relief Package, H.R. 133 (“the Consolidated Appropriations Act”), which was signed into law Dec. 27, 2020. That package is expected to provide nearly $297 million to Kentuckians to protect tenants from evictions and utility disconnections, through the Team Kentucky Healthy at Home Eviction and Utility Relief Fund. More information on this program will be coming within the next few weeks.