A new state government program aimed at helping people struggling to pay their rent and utility bills begins taking applications on Monday, Feb. 15, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Feb. 9.
The Texas Rent Relief Program, launched by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), will administer more than $1 billion in allocated assistance funds provided by the latest federal COVID-19 stimulus bill. It is the first statewide rent and utility assistance program.
Households must be at or below 80 percent of the area median income to apply. The program helps renters with the following costs, starting as far back as March 13, 2020:
- past due, current, and up to three months of expected rent costs
- past due, current, and up to three months of expected utility and home energy expenses
After the initial three months of forward assistance, renters can apply for an additional three months of assistance if funds are still available in the program.
Applicants at or below 50 percent of the area median income level and households in which one or more members are currently unemployed and have been for the past 90 days will receive priority consideration, said the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
Landlords can also apply on behalf of tenants who cosign the application — even if the landlord has already sued for eviction in their local court.
Visit TexasRentRelief.com or call 1-833-9TX-RENT for more information. Call centers are open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
The TDHCA provided a flow chart to help applicants determine if they are eligible: