A new state government program launched Feb. 15 with the goal of giving rent and utility relief to those struggling during the pandemic and accepted more than 21,000 applicants the first day.
The Texas Rent Relief Program will divvy out more than $1 billion in federal funds allocated by the latest COVID-19 stimulus bill. This is the first statewide program of its kind.
During the first 24 hours of its rollout Monday, the program’s center received 42,000 calls. About 90 percent of those calls were from tenants. The centers logged more than 21,000 total account registrations.
Due to the high volume of calls, some people had a difficult time getting through.
More than 5,700 payment requests have been submitted thus far, totaling more than $20 million in payment requests submitted.
The program, which accepts households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income, helps 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 come energy expenses
According to the Texas Rent Relief Rental Assistance worksheet, the area median income for Burnet County is $78,000 and for Llano County is $66,600. The program then adjust the limits for assistance based on 80 percent of those numbers as well as the number of people living in the household.
The program can provide an initial three months of assistance, after which the renters can apply for an additional three months, so long as there are funds still available in the program.
Visit the program’s website or call 1-833-9TX-RENT for more information. Call centers are open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.