On March 25, Gov. Beshear initially suspended evictions as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, but last Friday, he updated the state’s executive order on evictions to reflect the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on residential evictions for non-payment of rent, through Dec. 31.
“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,” he 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.”
Starting Tuesday, Kentuckians can visit the site to seek information on how to obtain a portion of $15 million in federal CARES Act money the governor pledged to support the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund. Details of the application of the funds include:
--Eligible landlords can be reimbursed for missed rent payments and receive some advance rent payments to keep tenants in their homes.
--For eligible tenants, the program pays up to 90 percent of past-due rent and may also cover up to two months of future rent.
--For approved applications, payments will be made directly to eligible landlords.
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 does allow 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.
Beshear also reminded Kentuckians of other programs that are 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 remain in effect.
More information about eligibility and how to apply is available at teamkyhherf.ky.gov.