The Healthy at Home Eviction Relief program has reopened in the state of Kentucky. The program offers financial support to landlords and tenants who need assistance in making monthly finance and rent payments, as well as utility companies.

The program reopened Feb. 15 and will close at the end of 2021.

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said the funding for this program is being utilized out of the $297 billion COVID-19 relief funds given to Kentucky from the federal government.

“We’ve watched as a lot of folks have made the sacrifices that we needed them to make in order to take on this virus over the last year, and a lot of folks, through no fault of their own, have struggled financially because of business closures and cutbacks,” Coleman said. “We wanted to provide relief to Kentuckians who were struggling, and we also wanted to provide relief to our landlords and to the utility companies as they continue to provide opportunities to Kentuckians as well.”

Gov. Beshear’s Deputy General Counsel Travis Mayo said there have been 12 applicants from McLean County as of March 1. Between the 12 applicants, there has been more than $7,000 requested for assistance.

According to Coleman, there have been 8,000 applicants statewide as of March 1. Between those 8,000 applicants, $12.6 million has been requested.

Kentuckians who request relief through the Healthy at Home portal can request help for up to 12 months past due and up to three months of future payments.

Coleman said the amount given to applicants is based on individual needs.

McLean County Judge-Executive Curtis Dame said about 19% of the county falls in the low-income, poverty level.

“The benefit of this program is it helps to make sure that landlords that have rent payments get the money because they probably rely on those in regards to their payments for rental properties that they finance, but it also helps those that are renters pay the landlords for their monthly payments,” Dame said.

Dame said the county is working toward offering more assistance to residents through programs such as LIHEAP and CDBG.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a service offered by the Audubon Area Community Services.

According to its website, LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income households with home energy bills by providing bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance and weatherization and energy-related home repairs.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is a program that offers assistance to urban, suburban and rural communities to improve housing and living conditions and expand economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income families and people, according to the National Association of Counties.

Dame said the McLean County Extension Office also offers programs and assistance to residents of the county, such as financial counseling and budgeting.

To apply for the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief program, visit teamkyhherf.ky.gov. For more information about the program, email evict.eligible@housingky.org.

For more information about assistance programs in McLean County, contact Dame at 270-273-3213. To contact the McLean County Extension Office, call 270-273-3621.

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