Application Process and Lottery System

Douglas County, KS

HSC Application and Lottery Status

Once tenants apply, the applications are referred to application processors at partnering agencies. This process is fairly simple, but does take time.

How does HSC Rent and Utility Assistance Work?

Have all documents ready and submit them when applying. This is not required, but does decreases time spent gathering documentation after the fact. Tenants can still apply even if they do not have all of the documents needed, but they will need to supply documentation within 48 hours of being reached by a processing agency.

Make sure that the contact information provided in the application is correct.

Keep an eye out for phone calls, voicemails, texts, and emails from an application processor. Communication could come from any one of our many partnering agencies.

Supply tenants with lease copies, ledgers, or other documentation in a timely fashion so that tenants can include it in their application.

Ensure that they or their staff keep an eye out for phone calls, voicemails, or emails from an application processor.

Review the Landlord Agreement immediately upon receipt and reaching out to the contact listed on the agreement if there is question or issue with the agreement.

Online Application

You do not need to understand this application process flow to apply for assistance. All you need to do to apply for assistance is fill out the application.

  • The graphics below are intended to be helpful for tenants, landlords, agencies, and other stakeholders to understand how the application works.
  • Application process is subject to change.


Additional Forms

The forms listed above are completed by the Douglas County Housing and Human Services department, application processors, and landlords. The only online form that landlords need to fill out is the Landlord Agreement which will be sent via email when a tenant applies and is approved for assistance.

The following types of documents may need to be attached to the online application.

For Past Due: Ledger or Balance Statement

For Current/Future: Lease or Ledger

For All Rent Payments: Landlord W-9*

*Douglas County has many landlord W-9 records

Documents showing utility company and full account number:

  • Bill
  • Past Due Notice
  • Disconnect Notice

These types of documents may be used to show income:

  • Paystub
  • Tax Return
  • Bank Statements
  • Social Security Letter
  • Disability Letter

Self-Attestation: Current funding sources allow for self-attestation. The applicant must sign an auto-generated form during the application process. This is subject to change as funding sources may change.

Application Flow Charts

The Randomized Lottery Process

How to apply to the Rent and Utility Assistance Program lottery:

  1. Apply at any time.
    • Remember your lottery password.
    • Remember when the next lottery date is. See the calendar on the homepage.
  2. Applications will be randomly selected to receive funding on the next lottery date.
  3. Applications are only entered into ONE lottery. Applicants need to reapply if they are not selected and still need assistance.

How to know if an application was selected:

  1. Applicants will be notified via email.
    • All applicants will receive an email stating whether their application was selected for funding.
    • Email will come from hsc@douglascountyks.org
    • Email will be sent to the applicant email address they list in the application
  2. The lottery password for selected applications will also be posted on this page for Lawrence and this page for Baldwin City, Eudora, and Lecompton

The HSC Rent and Utility Assistance application is now a randomized or “lottery” system.

Similar systems are used by other housing assistance programs across the United States including Chicago, New Jersey State, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

“The first-come, first-served process favored those who could type the fastest, access a computer, or have someone doing the application on their behalf. The lottery system removes that barrier and has been shown to be best practice in communities with funding that cannot meet the need.”

Gabi Sprague, Douglas County Housing and Human Services Program Manager

How does the lottery work?

  1. Application is available continuously at hscdgco.org.
  2. Tenants residing in Douglas County in need of assistance with rent or utility bills can submit applications.
  3. Applications are randomly selected to receive funding twice a month.
  4. Applicants are notified that their application was received and whether it was selected for funding.

Funding process will proceed as normal for those applications that are funded. Households not chosen must reapply in order to receive assistance.

We recognize that reapplying and reuploading documents will be time consuming and are exploring ways to make reapplication as simple as possible.

In October 2022, the HSC added annual assistance caps for households. These caps are a tool that we are using to support as many households as possible with limited funds.

What is the annual assistance cap amount?

As of March 1st, 2023 the annual assistance caps per household will be $1,500 + $100 per dependent for past due rent/utility assistance.

In the case that a household needs assistance moving into a new rental, their cap will be increased to $2,205 + $100 per dependent.

How do I know if I have hit my cap?

Applicants should communicate about their cap with the person processing their application. If applicants don’t have an active application in process, they can contact the partner agency they are most comfortable with or reach out directly to Douglas County Human Services office via email to hsc@douglascountyks.org.

Language will be added to the Landlord Agreement requiring that landlords stop accruing late fees for the period of the agreement.

This change is being made to avoid confusion on behalf of all parties (landlords, property managers, tenants, agency partners) regarding a tenant’s rental balance.

When will this change happen?

This change will take effect with a shift from DocuSign to Adobe Sign for Landlord Agreements. All new landlord agreements signed with Adobe Sign will include this language. Agencies are being trained one at a time on the Adobe Sign process, so this change will not take place all at once.

What is the exact language?

The language regarding late fees will be as follows:

“Upon signing this agreement and continuing for the period of agreement, the landlord shall not continue to charge or accrue late fees if the amount program agrees to pay is greater than or equal to the amount owed by tenant to date.”

Click here to view the full landlord agreement.