State of Kentucky Information
DIRECT LINK TO STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT WEBSITES FOR UPDATES
Indiana Health Department: https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/
Kentucky Health Department: https://healthalerts.ky.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
Ohio Health Department: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/media-center/ODH-News-Releases/COVID-19-ODH-Call-center
National Multifamily Housing Council Coronavirus Hub: www.nmhc.org/research-insight/Research-Insight-Knowledge-Library/covid-19-hub/
GOVERNOR BESHEAR LAUNCHES $264 MILLION HEALTHY AT HOME EVICTION RELIEF FUND: FUNDS WILL PROVIDE RENT, UTILITY ASSISTANCE TO TENANTS, LANDLORDS IMPACTED BY COVID 19
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2021) – In partnership with the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC), Gov. Andy Beshear relaunched the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund today with an additional $264 million to keep Kentuckians safe and housed throughout the pandemic.
“The Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund follows earlier, similar efforts to help our people stay in their homes, while also providing relief to landlords and utility companies,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is so important. With more Kentuckians rolling up their sleeves and receiving these safe and effective vaccines, we see the light at the end of the tunnel growing brighter by the day. But it will take months before everyone can receive their shot of hope, and until then, we need to ensure our people can stay healthy at home as much as possible.”
Starting Feb. 15, tenants who qualify can apply for rent and utility assistance to cover their past-due and future bills. If approved, lump sum, direct payments will be made to landlords and utility providers.
“Nearly a year into the pandemic, Kentuckians are still grappling with the economic effects of COVID-19,” said Winston Miller, KHC executive director. “This assistance will help keep renters housed, allow landlords to get substantial payments for back rent and reduce the number of evictions in Kentucky courts.”
The U.S. Treasury Department recently allocated $297 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to the state of Kentucky, Lexington-Fayette County Urban County Government and Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government to help renters impacted economically by COVID-19. The money will be distributed as three separate programs:
All of the funds will offer the same benefits to approved applicants – 100% of past-due rent, dating back to April 2020 – and up to three months of future payments.
Those applying through the Team Kentucky portal also can receive help with past-due and future utility bills.
“Throughout the pandemic, many households have struggled with expenses,” said Wendy Smith, KHC’s deputy director of housing programs. “This essential eviction relief can help renters get caught up on rent and utilities.”
The Beshear administration offered a similar plan last year – from September to December, the state helped 4,135 households avoid eviction with nearly $15 million in assistance. The new fund’s structure and requirements are similar to those of the original Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund:
“If a tenant is evicted, this fund cannot cover past-due bills. If the utility gets shut off, we won’t be able to get a prompt direct payment to the utility,” said Gov. Beshear.
Finally, he announced that a third party can help tenants apply if a tenant does not have access to a smart phone or computer, or if they are elderly or disabled. This could be family, a friend, fellow church member, caseworker, community organization staff member and so on. The helper will be able identify themselves as someone helping the applicant and can provide contact information in case we need to gather more information.
A detailed description of the program can be found at teamkyhherf.ky.gov.
GOVERNOR BESHEAR ANNOUNCES UP TO $38 MILLION AVAILABLE FOR UTILITY ASSISTANCE
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 25, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy 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.
Households are eligible for up to $250 per month for six consecutive months if:
Local governments can apply for CDBG-CV funds now by completing the applicationon DLG’s website.
Kentuckians should contact their local government or ADD for more information on CDBG-CV funds in their area.
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.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov and the state’s response to COVID-19 at kycovid19.ky.gov.
GOVERNOR BESHEAR ANNOUNCES HEALTHY AT HOME EVICTION RELIEF FUND WEBSITE
Tenants and landlords can seek assistance by visiting teamkyhherf.ky.gov
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2020) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the launch of the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund website, teamkyhherf.ky.gov, where Kentuckians now can visit and apply for assistance.
“As we continue to wage this battle against COVID-19, we must make sure renters have a home so they can be Healthy at Home, while also safeguarding landlords against undue financial hardship,” the Governor said. “When we come out of this global health crisis, we don’t want Kentuckians facing such insurmountable debt from their housing situation that they are unable to recover. This program will provide some much-needed relief to eligible tenants and property owners during these unprecedented times.”
Kentuckians can visit the site to seek information on how to obtain a portion of $15 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act money the Governor pledged to support the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund. Details of the application of the funds include:
Under the CDC order, a tenant who signs and submits a declaration to his or her landlord about the inability to timely pay rent cannot be evicted. However, the declaration is required in order to prevent an eviction. Like the Governor’s prior executive orders on evictions, the CDC order does not relieve anyone of the obligation to pay rent or comply with any other obligation under a tenancy, lease or similar contract. The CDC order allows landlords to charge and collect fees, penalties and interest for failure to timely pay rent, but prohibits evictions for nonpayment or late payment of such fees, penalties or interest.
The Governor also reminded Kentuckians of other programs helping Kentuckians pay rent, including the Team Kentucky Fund and the Louisville/Jefferson County Eviction Prevention COVID-19 Relief Fund.
The Kentucky Supreme Court has issued the following orders (2020-59 and 2020-64) establishing the Jefferson County Eviction Diversion Pilot Project and the procedure for eviction proceedings in courts. Until the Court issues a new order, these are controlling.
Kentuckians seeking legal assistance can contact the Kentucky COVID-19 Legal Helpline or call toll-free: 833-540-0342. The service is sponsored by Kentucky’s Access to Justice Commission and the four Kentucky civil legal aid programs, AppalReD Legal Aid, Kentucky Legal Aid, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass and Legal Aid Society.
Lawyers who want to volunteer to provide direct legal assistance to Kentuckians in need during the pandemic can visit Together Lawyers Can.
On March 25, Gov. Beshear initially suspended evictions as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
More information about eligibility and how to apply is available at teamkyhherf.ky.gov.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and summaries of the Governor’s news conferences at teamkentuckytranslations.com.
GOVERNOR BESHEAR ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE ORDER MANDATING MASKS FOR KENTUCKIANS
The new Executive Order requires all Kentuckians to wear masks in most public situations. The Executive Order can be read here.
GOVERNOR BESHEAR ANNOUNCES NEXT PHASE OF REOPENING ECONOMY
Phase 2 of reopening the Commonwealth’s economy includes the following tentative dates:
GUIDELINES FOR REOPENING AMERICA
Yesterday the President hosted a call with the nation’s governors, discussing a framework for reopening America. Following that, during the evening’s press conference, the President and his Task Force unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts.
Other resources from the press conference include a fact sheet and for your convenience, attached to this email are the slides used in today’s briefing outlining the guidelines.
Click here to download the presentation slides.
KENTUCKY SUPREME COURT
Please be aware that due to the Corona Virus, the Kentucky Supreme Court has determined only absolutely necessary court dockets would continue in session. All others are suspended through April 10. This includes eviction dockets across the state of Kentucky.
Please click here to see more details.
We will continue to provided additional updates as they become available.
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GOVERNOR BESHEAR TAKES DECISIVE ACTION TO LIMIT SPREAD OF COVID-19: GUIDANCE FOR CLOSURE ON PUBLIC-FACING BUSINESSES AND GOVERNMENT OFFICES
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 17, 2020) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced additional steps to contain and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“It’s my job to protect my family and friends, but I believe it’s all of our civic duty to protect our communities,” Gov. Beshear said. “I will use every resource in this state, every dollar at my disposal, every personnel that we have, to do everything we can to protect everyone’s loved ones if we see a spike that is significant. Kentucky, we’ll need your help. We’ll need your help staying calm. We’ll need volunteers and we know you’ll respond. We will get through this together.”
Gov. Beshear reminded Kentuckians to remain calm, have faith and to continue doing their patriotic duty by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to protect the most vulnerable, which includes seniors and those with chronic conditions including heart, lung or kidney disease. He also delivered a special message to children, offering tips to relieve stress and anxiety, maintain a routine and stay active. Click here to see full guidance.
KENTUCKY GOVERNOR BESHEAR EXECUTIVE ORDER CLOSING ALL NON-LIFE SUSTAINING BUSINESSES
As you are aware, last night Governor Beshear announced the closing of all non-life-sustaining businesses to in-person traffic by Thursday at 8 p.m. I have had many emails and phone calls asking if multi-family housing was an essential business. I want to clarify that multi-family housing is an essential business and apartment buildings is listed in the federal critical infrastructure sector. Gov. Beshear also listed “Housing” in his list of businesses that can remain open. See Gov. Beshear’d order which was just released:
3/24/2020: Announced Gov. Beshear will sign an executive order closing all non-life-sustaining businesses to in-person traffic by Thursday at 8 p.m. Businesses that can stay open still need to practice safe social distancing. The businesses that can stay open include: grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, agricultural operations, gas stations, media, businesses needed for transportation, logistics, shipping, delivery and pick-up, housing, building and construction, laundry, financial services, home-based care and services, professional services, manufacturing and other businesses key to national interests or life-sustaining goods or services, and those covered under the federal critical infrastructure sector.
"Housing, Buildings and Construction. To ensure Kentuckians can reman Healthy at Home, businesses providing contruction or mainteance of residential, commerical, or governmental structures, including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, landscaping, moving and relocation services, necessary for sustaining the safety, sanitation and operation of structures."
To read the entire Executive Order, click here.
Thus, Apartment community staff are exempt from the executive order. You must practice safe social distancing:
· Where possible, limit in-person transactions between staff and residents. Consider implementing digital payment and maintenance requests or offer secure drop boxes. Note: Please review applicable state laws, which may prohibit landlords from mandating that residents pay rent online.
· Suspend all non-essential maintenance and repairs. Service requests should be categorized between essential (HVAC, hot water, plumbing, etc.) and non-urgent (upgrades, cosmetic repairs, etc.).
· Share staffing updates with residents and ensure emergency contact information is available. When possible, use multiple communication platforms such as email, community bulletin boards and notices to individual units.
· Contact vendors to determine availability for emergency maintenance needs. Ensure alternative arrangements are available.
· Continue move-out walk-through inspections when requested by residents, per legal requirements. However, follow appropriate social distancing protocols. Ensure the residents desire inspections in the current environment and, if the request is withdrawn, get it in writing.
· Consider providing virtual and low-contact showings to prospective residents. These could include virtual tours or allowing a prospect to enter and tour a unit on their own. Be sure to disinfect high-touch surfaces between showings (including door knobs, light switches, etc.).
Please refer to your company policies and procedures regarding this information.
HOW TO APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
We’ve had a number of questions from members about what to do if you have employees that need to either be laid off or furloughed due to the current situation. We are directing folks to the Kentucky Career Centers. There is one in Covington and one in Florence. Click here to view the link from the Kentucky Career Center you can share with employees.
Gov. Beshear directed state officials on Monday to begin waiving the state’s mandatory one week waiting period for unemployment benefits for people who lost their jobs because of the virus. He also eliminated the requirement for those people to search for work while they receive benefits.
Normally, folks receiving their unemployment checks would receive their first check two weeks after they first apply, and it would only be for one week. Beshear has ordered that they deliver payment for both weeks.
Employees can apply for unemployment benefits online or by phone, by calling 502-875-0442 or visiting the Kentucky Career Center’s unemployment benefits page at https://kcc.ky.gov/career.
Please understand their systems are being overrun with people filing. Be patient with system as the Kentucky Career Center works through the increased volume.
U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DISASTER LOANS
Gov. Beshear announced the state has qualified for U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance. With that certification now in place, small businesses, for-profit contractors and private non-profits anywhere in Kentucky that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for low-interest SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. www.sba.gov/disaster.