Texas Rent Relief Program sends out over $100 million in assistance

Texas

FILIE – This June 6, 2019, file photo shows the U.S. Treasury Department building at dusk in Washington. On Monday, May 3, 2021, the Treasury Department said it expects to borrow $463 billion in the current April-June quarter and $2.28 trillion for the full budget year, as the government finances continued pandemic relief measures. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) announced that it has distributed more than $100 million in rental and utility assistance to Texans. TDHCA has said it is sending out a $1.3 billion grant in emergency federal relief funds from the US Department of the Treasury, intended to help eligible Texans with rent and utility payments during the pandemic.

Renters, according to the TDHCA, will get assistance with up to 12 months of rent, including back rent and up to three months of future rent alongside utility assistance. With eviction moratoriums expiring across the state, the Texas Rent Relief Program (TRR) said it is “prioritizing applications for tenants whose landlords have filed for eviction in an effort to keep Texans in their homes.”

“Today the Texas Rent Relief Program is proud to announce it has reached an exciting benchmark having helped more than 12,000 Texans by providing more than $100 million in rental and utility assistance – with hundreds of millions more assistance in the pipeline,” says Bobby Wilkinson, TDHCA Executive Director. “Almost half of those funds were allocated to assist with diverting evictions. This program is providing much needed economic stability both for tenants and landlords, as well as helping renters pay utility bills. If you are a renter in Texas – help is here. We have more than a billion in assistance to help, so apply today at TexasRentRelief.com.”

Landlords can receive up to 15 months of paid rent through this program, said TRR, but only if they don’t evict.

“By the Numbers” according to the Texas Rent Relief Program:

  • More than $110 million has been paid or is in the process of being paid.
  • Assistance continues to grow with an average of $6 million approved per day in the last week, with marked increases seen weekly.
  • TDHCA launched a public dashboard to report on the program’s performance, available at TexasRentRelief.com.
via the TRR
  •  Prioritizing those at risk of eviction. 
    • 5,121 eviction diversion applicants have been approved for approximately $44 million in assistance.
    • Over 3,000 applications are under review or in final review before approval for payment.
    • Of those under review, our team our team has reached out to the applicant and is awaiting a response in 40% of the cases.
  • Tenants can provide eviction information within their application, which will put the application in the priority group. If the landlord files for eviction after the application is submitted, the tenant can call us at 833-989-7368 to provide their court docket number, precinct number and county of the court information so their application can be prioritized.
  • Once the Texas Rent Relief begins processing an application for eligibility, the most significant delay is receiving documentation necessary to approve funding.
  • Currently, over 101,000 applications have been submitted, with nearly 86% in initial review, final review, pending payment or paid.
    • There are approximately 23,000 outstanding requests for missing documentation.
    • Applicants need to ensure all email and phone contact information is correct, check spam email folders and/or voice messages and respond accordingly as Texas Rent Relief Program staff attempt to finalize applications for approval.
  • The Texas Rent Relief Program employs more than 1,650 staff, most working 7 days a week to help applicants across all 254 Texas counties.
  •  Households must have incomes at or below 80% of the Area Median Income and meet other criteria to qualify for assistance. Full eligibility details at TexasRentRelief.com.
  •  The Texas Rent Relief Program can help renters with costs starting as far back as March 13, 2020:
    • Past due, current and up to 2 months of expected rent costs.
    • Past due, current and up to 2 months of expected utility and home energy expenses.
    • After the initial 3 months of forward assistance, you can apply for 3 additional months of assistance if funds are still available.

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