MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – The Manhattan Housing Authority is launching a new “Bridge to Housing Stability” program to help renters facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is done through a partnership with the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance (KERA) program administered by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC).

Executive Director Aaron Estabrook said this new program provides an additional safety net for people who have been approved for KERA but have not yet received assistance.

“Now if somebody has applied and there is an escalation of the need where there’s a sheriff at the door or they are homeless,” Estabrook said. “If they live in Riley County or Geary County, the KERA office will refer them to one of our case managers.”

This new program establishes three new full-time Case Managers and a part-time Peer Mentor position with the Manhattan Housing Authority. The BHS program aims to leverage over $2 million in federal and state funding to rapidly rehouse and stabilize KERA-approved residents.

“We will come in and assist and provide rental assistance, emergency hotel vouchers, security deposits,” Estabrook said. “Basically everything somebody would need to get back into a stable housing situation within the first 90 days.”

In order to qualify, renters must live in Riley or Geary County and be approved by KERA. Click here to apply. Under the KERA program, renters must:

  • Be behind on rent or utilities starting on or after April 1, 2020.
  • Have a hardship directly or indirectly caused the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Fall below 80% of the county’s median income. Click here for a list of median incomes by county.