‘Rent has taken a hit’: Texas Rent Relief application briefly reopens to provide rent, utilities payment assistance

The Texas Rent Relief application was supposed to be open for two weeks, but will close early due to the volume of applicants
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 6:24 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Texans now only have until 11:59 A.M on Thursday, March 16, 2023, to apply for the reopened Texas Rent Relief (TRR) program, which assists those impacted by the pandemic by helping paying their rent and utility bills.

Initially, the program was expected to take applications from March 14-28, but an update on the website from Wednesday afternoon shows that the number of requests has already exceeded the available funding of $96 million from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

The TTR program, which initially launched during the height of the pandemic, has already helped over 300,000 Texans, and this second push will help residents offset the strains of inflation, low housing supply, and rising labor costs.

Through March 16th at 11.59 A.M, Texans can apply for up to 18 months’ worth of help with their rent and utilities via the application on the TRR website.

Barbara Bozon, the executive director of the Central Texas Housing Consortium, says that you’ll need to answer a series of questions and provide documentation, like a lease, to determine whether or not you qualify.

“You do have to be low-income, and the way that’s defined is 80% or below of your median area income, which is set every year for different areas,” Bozon told KWTX.

For a family of four, that comes out to $57,850 in Bell County, but Bozon says it depends on the family size. To see if you qualify, click here.

Bozon also says the Texas Rent Relief program is prioritizing those facing eviction.

“If you received an eviction notice and you have a court docket number, you’ll need to provide that and that’ll put you higher on the list,” Bozon said.

While the goal is to help folks pay their rent, however, the application process for many hasn’t been seamless.

Aside from announcing Wednesday afternoon that the TRR application would be closing early, many also experienced website crashes from the volume of applicants.

In the meantime, there are other resources Central Texans can access, including the Central Texas Council of Governments’ own housing choice voucher program.

Qualified families can receive up to 90-100% of fair market rent vouchers.

“They can use a voucher we issue to them to go anywhere in the seven county region, and they can rent a house, they can rent an apartment, they can rent a manufactured home,” Jim Reed, the executive director of the Central Texas Council of Governments, told KWTX.

To learn more about whether you qualify or not, click here.