The state program, the Texas Relief Fund, announced they are closing their application portal on Friday because the requested amount of applicants exceeds the total funding left available, according to Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Media Representative Kristina Tirloni.
“For the Texas Rent Relief we have funding available for rent and utilities assistance totaling about $1.9 billion,” Tirloni said. “ The funding available is about $680 million; we have paid and disbursed almost $1.2 billion, with another $108 million in progress to be paid.”
The program was created to help Texas renters and landlords who were and still are struggling to pay rent and utilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though the portal is closing, Texans are still being encouraged to apply and if an applicant has already started the application process there is a 21 day deadline to complete it. Additionally, the program intends to contact unfinished applicants three times in the three week period. If then tenants or landlords are unreachable their application will be considered inactive.
Selected applicants are based on household income and if their monthly rent is below the program limit of $4,600. Applicants are only allowed to apply one time for assistance.
In October, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs announced that the Texas Rent Relief Program has distributed over $1 billion dollars in 174,000 households since the program started in February.
“The Texas Rent Relief program has reached a major milestone, one that wouldn’t be possible without our partners, community and team members working together to assist Texans in need,” said Bobby Wilkinson, TDHCA Executive Director. “Crossing the $1 billion mark shows we were able to address a great and pressing need that is still present here in our state, but it’s important we continue to work vigorously to get help out as quickly as possible.”
When asked if and when the application portal will reopen, Tirloni told the Signal TDHCA will request additional funding from the Treasury Department if those are made available.
Kennedy is a recent graduate of the University of St.Thomas in Houston where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Celt Independent. Kennedy brings her experience of writing about social justice issues to the Texas Signal where she serves as our Political Reporter. She does everything from covering crime beats, Texas politics, and community activism. Kennedy is a passionate reporter, avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and loves to travel.