October 14, 2021
Kristina Tirloni 512-475-4743
- Texas Rent Relief disburses $1 billion
- More than 174,000 households served
- First state to disburse $1 billion in ERA funds
Governor Abbott, TDHCA: Texas Rent Relief Program First in Nation to Provide $1 Billion in Assistance
More Than 174,000 Texans and 95% of Counties Served
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) today announced that the Texas Rent Relief Program has distributed more than $1 billion in rental and utility assistance to more than 174,000 Texas households, with another $52 million already committed to being paid. Texas is the first state to distribute $1 billion in rent relief funds and has more than $900 million remaining. Since the program launched in mid-February, Texas has served more households and provided more relief funds than any other state, while reaching 95% of its counties.
"The Texas Rent Relief Program continues to provide an invaluable lifeline to Texans in need of assistance on their rent and utilities," said Governor Abbott. "Texas is committed to helping households who have experienced significant financial strains as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are proud to be the first in the nation to achieve this billion dollar milestone."
"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.”
Texans can apply for the program by calling 1-833-9TX-RENT (1-833-989-7368) or submitting it online at TexasRentRelief.com. The call center is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. To qualify, households must be at or below 80% of the area median income as well as meet other criteria. Landlords are encouraged to apply on behalf of tenants, who must co-sign the application.
Personal Story of Relief: Getting Life Back on Track
Like many people, when the pandemic hit, Samaji Nelson lost her job when her employer laid off half of the staff. Without additional income, she fell behind on rent and needed assistance. Nelson heard about the Texas Rent Relief Program through her landlord and immediately applied.
“I applied early and was pleased with the communication and notifications letting me know what was needed for my application,” said Nelson. “The process did take time, but you have to have patience and faith in the program. It’s for the entire state of Texas; that’s millions of Texans!”
When the eviction moratorium lifted in Texas, Nelson was one of the many Texans who was at risk of eviction.
“I did receive an eviction notice, but I didn't worry about that, because there's a section in the program that allows you to upload your eviction notice to have your application prioritized,” said Nelson. “The folks at the program know that you’re facing discomfort and stress, so they’ll work with you to get your application approved as quickly as possible.”
When Nelson received official approval for assistance, she instantly felt a sense of gratitude and relief: “I have never needed help like this before but knowing that it was coming lifted a huge burden I’ve been carrying for months off my shoulders. I feel like I can finally get my life back on track.”
By the Numbers
Texas Rent Relief Program highlights, as of Oct.13, 2021:
- More than $1 billion has been paid to more than 174,000 households
- The program is reaching all corners of Texas, providing assistance to households in 241 out of 254 Texas counties – that’s a 95% reach of the vast Texas territory
- More than 82% of the households served are either extremely low or low income, falling at or below 50% of their area median income
- The program is prioritizing people at risk of eviction – more than 15,000 applicants have had their evictions stopped and removed from their credit records and have received more than $126 million in assistance
- A $20 million grant has been provided to Texas Access to Justice Foundation for free legal assistance to keep people housed and prevent homelessness
- TDHCA provides a public dashboard to report on the program’s performance at TexasRentRelief.com.
About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is committed to expanding fair housing choice and opportunities for Texans through the administration and funding of affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services with the help of for-profits, nonprofits, and local governments. For more information about fair housing, funding opportunities, or services in your area, please visit www.tdhca.state.tx.us or the Learn about Fair Housing in Texas page.
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