Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Texas Rent Relief Program Exceeds $500 Million in Assistance, 80,000+ Texans Provided with Rent and Utility Relief
AUSTIN – Today the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) announced it has distributed more than $500 million in rental and utility assistance to more than 80,000 Texas households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with another $46 million committed to being paid. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Texas was well ahead of many states in ramping up its program and distributing funds.
"Staff have been working nonstop to get assistance to those in need. We’ve accomplished much in a short amount of time—from being one of the first in the nation to set up a statewide program from scratch, to distributing nearly half of our initial funding of $1.3 billion," said Bobby Wilkinson, TDHCA Executive Director. "Still, we know many are facing the very real possibility of eviction or utility disconnects due to financial hardships of the pandemic. We have a lot more work to do, and will continue to press until we exhaust all available funds.”
TDHCA is administering $1.3 billion in emergency federal relief funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help income-eligible Texans struggling to keep up with rent and utility payments during the pandemic. The Texas Rent Relief Program is an opportunity to get up to 12 months of back due rent and even secure up to three months of future rent stability for tenants, as well as utility assistance. Landlords can get up to 15 months of rent paid through this program, but only if they don't evict.
As eviction and utility moratoriums expire across the state, the Texas Rent Relief Program (TRR) is prioritizing applications for tenants whose landlords have filed for eviction. Applicants can also indicate on their application if they are at risk of having their utilities disconnected due to nonpayment, which will also prioritize their application for review.
TDHCA still has relief funds available and encourages those in need of assistance to review the program requirements and apply online at TexasRentRelief.com or over the phone by calling the Texas Rent Relief hotline at 833-9TX-RENT (833-989-7368).
By the Numbers
Texas was the first state in the nation with a billion dollar allocation to begin administering these new funds from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The following provides performance of the Texas Rent Relief Program, as of July 7, 2021:
- More than $500 million has been paid to more than 80,000 households (350% increase in funds disbursed since mid-May).
- Prioritizing those at risk of eviction or utility disconnection
- Over 10,000 eviction diversion applicants have been approved for more than $87 million in assistance.
- Tenants can provide eviction information with 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.
- Tenants can indicate on their application if they are at risk of having utilities disconnected for nonpayment, which will prioritize their application.
- Once the Texas Rent Relief Program begins processing an application for eligibility, the most significant delay is receiving federally required documentation necessary to approve funding.
- Of more than 16,000 applications currently in the initial review process, there are more than 12,800 outstanding requests for missing federally required 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.
- TDHCA launched a public dashboard to report on the program’s performance, available at TexasRentRelief.com.
- 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
About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is committed to expanding fair housing choice and opportunities for Texans through the administration and funding of affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services with the help of for-profits, nonprofits, and local governments. For more information about fair housing, funding opportunities, or services in your area, please visit www.tdhca.state.tx.us or the Learn about Fair Housing in Texas page.
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