Neighborhood Housing Department issues $1.2 million in rental assistance to Austinites

The City of Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department (NHCD) is providing $1.2 million in emergency rental assistance to Austinites affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. It will be administered by the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA).

The Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) program will distribute one-time rental subsidies through a lottery system similar to HACA’s Housing Choice Voucher program. Residents must apply for the lottery through HACA’s RENT website at starting May 4th at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 11:59 p.m. on May 6th. More information is available


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RELATED: Austin City Council passes 60-day eviction hold-off for renters

The program is expected to help more than 1,000 families stay in their homes. 

Director of NCHD, Rosie Truelove, says in a news release that the funding for the emergency rental assistance is being accessed from the city's local funds and that while they know $1.2 million can only go so far that they are committed to looking for and accessing additional help for families as soon as they can.

HACA will manage the intake and processing of applications, determine applicant eligibility, and, upon approval, direct payments to landlords to help cover tenants’ rent obligations. 


Applicants not selected in the lottery will receive written notification from HACA, with a list of additional potential alternative resources.

If additional funding becomes available, all eligible Austin renters would be able to apply for subsequent lotteries or programs to ensure the broadest distribution of rental assistance possible. 

Eligibility is limited to City of Austin households that are at or below 80 percent of the Median Family Income (see below) who can document both a financial impact by COVID-19 and need of rent relief (e.g., paystubs, unemployment notice, notice of rent due, etc.).  Applicants must also demonstrate that they are party to an existing lease agreement and are not recipients of other rental assistance programs.

  • 1 person in household - (annual income at 80% of MFI) $54,700
  • 2 persons in household - (annual income at 80% of MFI) $62,500
  • 3 persons in household - (annual income at 80% of MFI) $70,300
  • 4 persons in household - (annual income at 80% of MFI) $78,100
  • 5 persons in household - (annual income at 80% of MFI) $84,350
  • 6 persons in household - (annual income at 80% of MFI) $90,600
  • 7 persons in household - (annual income at 80% of MFI) $96,850
  • 8 persons in household - (annual income at 80% of MFI) $103,100

The amount of rental assistance will be determined either by the number of bedrooms in the apartment OR the actual monthly rent amount (per the current lease), whichever is LOWEST minus the 30 percent of the household’s gross monthly income (see below).

  • Efficiency - $900
  • One bedroom - $1,000
  • Two bedroom - $1,200
  • Three bedroom - $1,400
  • Four bedroom - $1,800
  • Five bedroom - $2,000

For more information about the RENT program, call or text the HACA RENT Call Center phone number at (512) 400-4275.  Visit or for more information.



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