PITTSBURG, Ks. — A new program has gone live, designed to help those facing financial hardship due to the pandemic.

Tiffany DeMoss, Pittsburg Resident, said, “Obviously it’s very hard to pay rent, especially when you’re unemployed.”

When the pandemic first started, a lot of people’s financial security was left up in the air. They couldn’t afford rent or utilities after losing their job.

Megan Keener, Pittsburg Housing Manager, said, “We’ve had a lot of people that came in and made changes due to loss of income or loss of unemployment so we’ve made a lot of changes. And we’ve gotten phone calls about individuals that are not on our assistance that are back on rent.”

But there’s a new solution to this problem. It’s called the Kansas Emergency Rent Assistance Program and it aims to help those who’ve lost a job due to the coronavirus pandemic. This won’t be a small assistance either, instead of covering only a couple months, it could cover up to a year of rent and utilities.

“The past due rents, the utilities, because they also help with utilities, has to be started by April 1st of 2020, so if you were behind rent prior to April 1st, it won’t cover that, it will just cover what you’re behind now.”

All that’s needed are a couple pieces of paper.

“You have to have documentation of the hardship, like a termination letter, loss of unemployment, you’ll have to have a lease, proof of identification, so you’re going to have some documentation when you make that application.”

To help make sure people can keep their homes, whether they’ve been affected for only a week or a whole year.

“Just in case if anything were to happen again to me or to anyone, maybe they were affected in the beginning and then not so much now, but they might be in a month, it’d be really nice for them to have that safety net.” said DeMoss.