Utility, rent and mortgage assistance available
Many residents are struggling to cover essential needs such as housing and utilities. Most utility companies offer payment arrangements for large past due balances. Each utility company has different guidelines; therefore, you must call directly to learn what options may be available. For low-income households, there are four different types of utility assistance programs available. Additionally there are two programs available for rental or mortgage assistance.
Johnson County Aging & Human Services administers the Johnson County Utility Assistance Program. This program provides financial assistance to qualifying low-income households. Assistance may be provided for electric, water, gas, wastewater, or propane utility bills. Financial assistance can be provided for past due utility bills or assistance with payment plans. Call 913-715-6653.
Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) administers the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program. KERA provides rental and utility assistance to qualifying Kansas renters. The goals of KERA are to avoid eviction or utility disconnections. Households can be eligible for up to one year of rental assistance (past due or future) and/or up to one year of late/past due utilities.
If you need help filling out the application, please call or email any of these agencies:
- Jewish Family Services: 913-327-8250
- Catholic Charities - Overland Park: 913-384-6608
- Catholic Charities – Olathe: 913-782-4077
- Salvation Army – Olathe Corp: 913-782-3640
- El Centro: 913-677-0100
To be eligible, households:
- Must be renting
- Make less than 80% of Area Median Income (for example, $61,950/yr for a family of three)
- At least one member of the household must be experiencing a financial hardship directly or indirectly related to the COVID-19 virus (loss of employment, medical costs related to COVID, childcare costs, etc.)
- At least one member of the household must have late or past due rent or utilities
For utility assistance, households can apply directly for assistance through KERA and, if approved, utility providers will be paid directly. Utility assistance includes overdue utility charges, disconnect and reconnect fees.
For rental assistance, there are two parts to the application: one that the household/renter fills out and one that the landlord fills out. You can fill these out at the same time or separately. Rental assistance can be for back rent AND new rental charges. Payments are made directly to your account with your landlord.
Kansas Department for Children and Families is administrating two different utility assistance programs. Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is a Federally funded program that helps eligible households pay a portion of their home energy costs by providing a one-time per year benefit. The Emergency Water Assistance Program (EWAP) is a federally funded program that helps eligible households restore or prevent disconnection of water or wastewater services.
Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) administers the Kansas Homeowner Assistance Fund (KHAF). KHAF serves all eligible Kansans who have had difficulty paying their mortgages, property taxes, homeowner association fees, utilities, or internet/broadband payments because of hardships during the COVID pandemic. Homeowners can apply online. If the application is approved, the KHAF funds are sent and applied directly to homeowners' accounts, helping homeowners receive aid as quickly as possible.
- Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- You own your home in Kansas.
- The property (a single-family home, one-to-four unit dwelling, or mobile home) is your primary residence.
- You can provide valid proof of identification.
- You are at risk of losing your home without assistance.
- Your 2020 income did not exceed 150 percent of your area’s median income.
- Your household is experiencing documented financial hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic. Hardship may include reduction in income, loss of employment, or significant COVID-related expenses (medical bills, personal protective equipment, child care costs, equipment or internet costs to enable online work/schooling, etc.).
Applicants must not have received assistance from other sources for the same costs and time period for which they are requesting KHAF assistance.