New Statewide Program to Help Texans with Rent and Utility Assistance
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has directed the a state agency to administer the distribution of federal funds from a COVID-19 stimulus bill.
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has launched the Texas Rent Relief Program. It is Texas' first statewide rent and utility assistance program, for qualified households. The program will administer the distribution of more than $1 billion in federal funds.
According to the Governor's Office, the TDHCA will begin accepting applications on Monday, February 15. Qualifications, required documents and the information about the application process can be found online at TexasRentRelief.com.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant financial strain on many Texans, and the Texas Rent Relief Program will provide an incredible lifeline to households in need of assistance on their rent and utility payments," said Governor Abbott. "I urge qualifying households to apply for this program once applications open on February 15th. The State of Texas will continue to provide the resources and support for those in need throughout the pandemic."
“The pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to many Texas families. The Texas Rent Relief program is for those Texans who need help to pay rent and utility bills and I encourage those who need it to apply. These resources will provide support for Texas families who need it while our economy continues to recover," said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
To qualify for the assistance from the TDHCA, households must be at, or below, 80% of the area median income, plus meet other qualifications. In addition, per federal guidelines, the TDHCA will prioritize applications for households at, or below, 50% of the area median income level. Applications will also be prioritized for households in which one or more members are currently unemployed, and have been for at least 90 days. The Governor's Office also notes that landlords can apply on behalf of tenants. who then must co-sign the application.
"Texans have been resilient in responding to COVID-19, and this program can provide short-term assistance to families in need as they emerge from the financial aftershocks of the pandemic," said Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R- Beaumont). "This program is a key component of our state’s pandemic recovery effort and will be essential to the rebound of our economy, workforce, and education system. I am thrilled that qualifying Texas families have an avenue for temporary relief on essential items like rent and utility payments when it truly counts the most."
Beginning February 15, 2021, applicants can submit their application, over the phone, by calling 1-833-9TX-RENT (1-833-989-7368) or submitting it online at TexasRentRelief.com. The call center will be open Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m.to 6 p.m.