News To Know: Updates for Renters

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News To Know: Updates for Renters

There’s nothing more important than having a safe place to live—particularly when the world is unstable. During a pandemic, how can you stay healthy at home if you don’t have a home?

We have some good news to share.

On September 1st, the Centers for Disease Control announced that starting September 4th it will stop evictions (due to non-payment) until December 31 to help protect public health.

This is great news, but the relief is not automatic. You must take action to cover yourself. You can do that starting today.

If you are having trouble paying rent, keep reading. We have some easy steps for you to take to protect yourself.

Here’s what you need to know.

This relief is available for most renters. People who made less than $99,000, received a stimulus check, or did not have to pay income tax in 2019 can take this opportunity to access help.

You must, attest—a fancy word for swear, that you need this help and are doing everything you can to pay rent and get help. Attesting means presenting a signed document to your landlord. It is also called a declaration.

Do this ASAP. Don’t wait to protect yourself.

Thankfully, there’s an app for that thanks to Kentucky Equal Justice Center.

In this declaration, you will need to state:

  • You would be forced to live in close quarters that could be unsafe, or you will be homeless.
  • You will make your best efforts to make partial payments.
  • You will make your best efforts to obtain government assistance.

 

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Kentucky Equal Justice Center’s online tool helps renters generate declarations and send those declarations to their landlords. It’s available online here.

You can access it on a computer or phone, and it doesn’t require an app purchase or download.

Okay, collective sigh of relief, anyone?

But questions remain, like:

How can I pay rent? What assistance is available?

  • Your first stop should be the Team Kentucky Fund. Apply online for assistance or print out a hard copy. You can apply for assistance for rent, mortgage, water, gas/electricity, trash, and food and groceries all on one application.
  • Next call your community action agency. Some community action agencies have separate funds that are available to help people who need it to pay rent.

Here is a list of resources for AppalReD Legal Aid’s service area.

  • There is some more help coming. Governor Beshear announced on August 24th that there will be $15,000,000 in state money will help renters pay rent. There will be more info on September 8th about how you can apply for this assistance. Protections on the state level are changing rapidly. Update: Applications are now open to the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund. Both the tenant and landlord must apply for relief. However, if just the tenant or just the landlord applies, the other party will be notified to complete the application. Relief payments will be paid directly to the landlord. The application must be completed online and supporting documents must be uploaded online. You can take cell phone pictures of documents, including: copy of state ID or piece of mail, prooof of income earned by all household members over the past month, current lease in tenant's name (if a written lease was completed), and a letter/notice of late rent, notice to vacate, court summons, judgement, etc.

Finally, if you have any questions or find yourself facing an eviction, call our Central Intake Office at 1-866-277-5733 or make an online application.

Posted: September 2, 2020