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Hi there! Thanks for checking out our Housing Blog! We hope this blog will help to strengthen our connections with tenants and landlords. So, stay tuned for helpful information that will be delivered monthly. Examples of topics include: How to participate as a landlord; qualities of a good tenant; inspections; housing resources; program expectations; pathways to self-sufficiency; and program participant testimonies.

October is a great month to FALL in love with Housing!

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This month’s blog is a shout out to all landlords out there in Southeast Kansas. If you already work with SEK-CAP Housing Programs, thank you so much! Without landlords who are willing to work with low-income tenants, we would not be able to provide rental assistance. You make it possible for families to maintain safe and affordable housing, which also improves overall health, education, and employment opportunities.

If you are a landlord that doesn’t currently work with SEK-CAP, we hope you will consider it. You may already have tenants who need a little help paying their rent each month. It’s a pretty common occurrence in Southeast Kansas. According to the 2019 Out of Reach Report, published by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, 44.2% of individuals in Kansas are spending 30% or more of their wages on rent. Wowzers! In many cases, families are having to choose: Do I pay my rent or do I buy food and prescriptions? I’m sure you (landlords) are hoping they will choose to pay their rent, but I think we can all agree that food and prescriptions are also pretty important.

SEK-CAP rental assistance can help keep rent at an affordable level for families, giving them more money to go towards those basic needs. If you have tenants who are struggling, they can apply for the Section 8 Program online at http://sekcap.housingmanager.com. If they don’t have access to a computer or smart phone, they can call our office and do the application by phone.

Disclaimer: This is not a quick fix. Your tenants can expect to wait about a year for us to reach their name on the Section 8 waitlist. I wish we could make it happen quicker, but we must wait until tenants leave our program before we can help someone new. We are able to help about 380 tenants at once with current funding levels for Section 8.

Once your tenant receives their voucher, the process looks like this:

  1. Landlord and tenant fill out Request for Tenancy Approval
  2. SEK-CAP completes Housing Quality Standards Inspection
  3. Move-In Paperwork is signed by all parties
  4. Rental assistance begins and is paid monthly as long as the tenant remains eligible.

If you want more details about the process, please check out our Landlord Information Packet

If you would like for us to share your contact information with house hunters, you can fill out our New Landlord Participation Form and we will add you to our Landlord List. We provide the Landlord List to anyone who receives a voucher from us, and we post it on our website.

You may be wondering, "What is in it for me?" Well, here are some reasons you might want to work with SEK-CAP rental assistance programs: 

  • SEK-CAP will send our portion of the rent on the first business day of the month (in accordance with HUD regulations).
  • We offer security and utility deposits once in a lifetime for tenants receiving rental assistance from us.
  • We inspect the unit at least every two years, which can help the landlord identify maintenance concerns and potential property damages. Special inspections can be done any time at the request of the tenant or landlord. 
  • We will not allow rental assistance tenants to move during the first year of the lease, unless violations of the HAP contract occur or there is a safety issue. 
  • SEK-CAP will enforce the rules and regulations of the program.

SEK-CAP rental assistance programs also provide a little boost to the local economy. Both rental assistance programs combined contribute around 1.6 MILLION dollars per year to the Southeast Kansas economy in the form of rent and deposits to landlords and deposits to utility companies. In the last year, we have been able to help 493 households obtain/maintain affordable housing with these funds, 50% of which were elderly and/or disabled.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out! We look forward to hearing from you.

With hope, 

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Timi Myers Let Your Voice Be Heard

Can’t the leaders of our country just come to some kind of agreement? This is getting ridiculous. Every year, agencies that administer federal housing programs sit and wait for congress to come up with a new spending bill so that we can continue providing affordable housing opportunities to people in need. It’s a little stressful. Sure, the government has re-opened for now, but if Congress doesn’t pass a funding bill by February 15th, it will shut down again, leaving agencies like SEK-CAP wondering how they will pay for March Housing Assistance Payments.


Over 50% of the people getting rental assistance from SEK-CAP are elderly or disabled and live on social security benefits. They depend on federal programs, such as HUD Section 8, to keep housing affordable for them. Without Section 8, many of these families will be forced to decide whether to pay the rent or to pay for food and prescriptions. That’s a tough decision… housing or health!? What would you choose?


Landlords will also suffer greatly if a spending bill is not passed before the end of February. Mortgages are still due to the bank and taxes are still owed, even during a lapse in funding for federal housing programs.


We ARE hopeful that congress will come through this year, as they have in the past, to pass a spending bill so that our program participants and landlord partners are not affected. However, if they do not get it together before the end of February, there could be some painful side effects. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has provided very little guidance to Public Housing Authorities during this time, but this is what we DO know:

• HUD is expected to provide Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) for the month of February 2019. SEK-CAP will release HAP checks to landlords and Utility Reimbursements to tenants as usual for February.
• HAP funds have not been obligated to SEK-CAP for the month of March 2019 because congress hasn’t passed a spending bill.
• SEK-CAP has requested HUD-Held Reserves for the month of March, but we were notified that HUD is not processing requests for March yet.
• We have been notified by HUD staff that they expect to provide us with March funding and payment determinations “in the coming weeks.”

 

If we continue into February without a spending bill for federal housing programs, SEK-CAP will take the following measures:

• February Housing Assistance Payments will be made to landlords as usual.
• February Utility Reimbursements payments will be made to tenants that are eligible to receive them, as usual.
• March Housing Assistance Payments and Utility Reimbursements are not guaranteed until we receive notification of funding from HUD.
• Beginning February 1st, new vouchers will not be issued to applicants on the waitlist as a safeguard.

 

But hey, let’s try to put a positive spin on this! This is a chance for you to speak out. Please reach out to your senators and representatives to let them know how you would be affected if there were no funding for Section 8 rental assistance.

 

As events unfold, we will be here to keep you informed. If you have questions or comments, please call to speak with me directly, (620)724-8204, ext. 1004.

 

With hope,

Timi Myers
Housing Services Director

Since this is our VERY FIRST HOUSING BLOG, I will take some time to introduce the SEK-CAP Housing Staff. If you’ve been to our office in Girard, you’ve probably already met some/all of us. Lucky you! Or maybe you’ve only talked to us on the phone and are trying to imagine what we actually look like in person. Never fear, the Housing Blog is here! Let me introduce you to the amazing, incredible, one-of-a-kind, hard-working, dedicated, easy-to-talk-to, caring SEK-CAP Housing Staff:

 

Janet Swor | Housing Specialist

Janet Swor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have worked with us before, chances are you’ve at least talked to Janet on the phone. She is famous around our office because she’s been working here for 34 years. Yes, you read that right. I said 34 years. She does a lot of work behind the scenes that you probably don’t even realize, most of it involving stacks and stacks of paper. She handles most of the daily processes like annual recertifications for Section 8 and Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA), background checks, requests for housing assistance payments, monthly rent payments, assistance with paperwork, inspection scheduling, and interim recertifications.

 

Brian Wells | Property Manager

 Brian Wells

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian is constantly on the go and has been on the go at SEK-CAP for about 10 years. He manages all 54 SEK-CAP rental units, which are scattered all over southeast Kansas. He also manages the maintenance of the SEK-CAP Central Office, Head Start Centers, and Early Head Start Centers. Quality of work is a priority. If it needs to be fixed, he makes sure it gets done quickly. Our rental properties and Head Start Centers are good-looking and safe because of Brian and his crew.


James Mitchell, Roger Reed, and Kevin Todd 

Facilities Maintenance Technicians

Facilities Maintenance Technicians

      Roger Reed      Kevin Todd
James, Roger, and Kevin are always working to make sure repairs are made, equipment is installed, and facilities are safe.  Finding small contractors in southeast Kansas is nearly impossible, that’s why we employ our own crew. These guys travel around, and if it needs fixed, they do it!

 

Timi Myers | Housing Director (that's me!)

 Timi Myers

 

 

 

 

 


I mostly drink coffee and I’m not sure what else I’m supposed to be doing... just kidding!! But I do LOVE coffee. I’ve worked at SEK-CAP for five and a half years, and as the Housing Director for about a year and a half. I’m here to review and update policies, procedures, make sure we are following federal and state rules/regulations (which seem to change or threaten to change every day), listen and assist with landlord/tenant disputes, investigate potential fraud, submit reports, connect our services to other agencies, conduct Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections, and whatever else needs to be done.  Working with housing programs offers both opportunities and challenges, but I love that we are giving people a chance to find and hold onto affordable rental housing, which can be pretty scarce these days.

 

Thanks for taking the time to get to know us a little better! I hope you will check back next month!