AUSTIN, Texas - Officials have announced that more than $750 million has been distributed through the Texas Rent Relief Program for those needing rental and utility assitance.
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) announced that the money has been given to more than 124,000 Texas households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with another $34 million already committed to being paid in the next couple of days.
According to the latest U.S. Department of the Treasury report, Texas is the country’s leading state in both households served and program funds distributed.
"The Texas Rent Relief program has cleared major hurdles and our strong efforts at outreaching to all Texans have been effective, reaching 92% of Texas counties with relief funds," said Bobby Wilkinson, TDHCA Executive Director, in a news release.
"We’ve also partnered with other statewide agencies and organizations such as the Texas Apartment Association and Public Utilities Commission to share information about available assistance and outreach resources to ensure those most at risk of eviction or utility disconnection get the help they need," Wilkinson adds.
Once the Texas Rent Relief Program begins processing an application for eligibility, the most significant delay is receiving any missing federally required documentation necessary to approve funding.
Officials say of the more than 61,750 applications currently in the initial review process, there are more than 26,350 outstanding requests for missing federally required documentation. They say 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.
Tips for Applicants
Tenants and landlords may check their Texas Rent Relief program application status here or by calling 1-833-989-7368. Landlords will only see the status of their tenant’s application once their application IDs are linked in the system.
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 and is leading the nation in total payments made.
The following provides performance of the Texas Rent Relief Program, as of Sept. 3, 2021:
- More than $750 million has been paid to more than 124,000 households (650% increase in funds disbursed since mid-May)
- The Texas Rent Relief program is reaching all corners of Texas, providing assistance to households in 235 out of 254 Texas counties – that’s a 92% reach of the vast Texas territory.
- The program is helping the lowest income tenants in Texas, with more than 55% of the households served falling at or below 30% of their area median income.
- Prioritizing those at risk of eviction or utility disconnection
- Over 12,700 applicants have been diverted from evictions by receiving more than $106 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 also indicate on their application if they are at risk of having utilities disconnected for nonpayment, which will prioritize their application.
- TDHCA launched a public dashboard to report on the program’s performance, available at TexasRentRelief.com.
- 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.