Options still available for area residents in need of rent relief

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 3:20 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - The possibility of eviction looms for many U.S. residents now that landlords are allowed to evict tenants again.

This follows last week’s Supreme Court decision to end an eviction moratorium. The options to help with those behind on rent are not new, though.

Locally, there is one specifically for Temple residents and another for all Bell County residents.

“Right now, we have the funds to help a lot of people,” Ashley Johnson, director of finance and administration with Hill Country Community Action Association, said.

“So, if you need assistance, please reach out.”

The Hill Country Communication Action Association is in charge of dispersing rental help to residents throughout Bell County.

That help should be available well into 2022, she said.

Many people are already reaching out to those with the program.

In fact, last week it awarded more than $500,000 to applicants who qualified.

“That can be a multitude of things: increased gas, increased food prices, if a household member lost their job,” Johnson said.

“Sometimes its families, had to take in other family members.”

But that availability is not the same in Temple.

The city has just recently added the help of United Way to help promote its own program.

The city’s rent relief program has had a low response rate since its inception in 2020.

And the deadline to award that grant money is at the end of September.

“So if folks have been really struggling and have been impacted by the pandemic to the point where they’re really having a hard time paying their rent,” Nancy Glover, Temple’s director of housing and community development, said.

“We can definitely help with that.”

Both programs can help pay rent for three to six months.

Organizers are also contacting landlords to expand their reach.

“If the property owner is aware of a tenant that is having those types of struggles we’re definitely encouraging them to let them know about this program,” Glover said.

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