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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Texas Rent Relief program helps administer $1.3 billion in emergency funds

Here's more information on how you can apply for rent relief in Texas amid the pandemic.

AUSTIN, Texas — As the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) is administering $1.3 billion in emergency funding to help eligible Texans struggling to keep up with their rent and utility payments amid the pandemic, the Texas Rent Relief program on Thursday provided an update on its efforts.

Currently, the program employs more than 1,450 staff members. Many of them work seven days a week to help applicants across the entire state.

Assistance keeps on growing, with an average of $3.5 million approved each day. They say marked increases are seen weekly. Additionally, more than $53 million has been paid or is in the process of being paid.

Here's how the program says it is prioritizing those at risk of becoming evicted:

  • A total of 3,310 eviction diversion applicants have been approved for approximately $24 million in assistance. This represents 40% of the eviction diversion applicants.
  • Nearly 4,300 applications are under review or in final review before approval for payment.
  • Of those under review, 50% are missing information or documentation. In these cases, the team has reached out to the applicant and is awaiting a response.

To get an application placed in a priority group, tenants can provide eviction information within their applications. If their landlord files for eviction after the application is submitted, tenants can call 833-989-7368 to provide their court docket number, precinct number and county of the court information so their application can be prioritized.

Once the Texas Rent Relief program begins processing the application, the most significant delay could be receiving the necessary documentation to approve funding. Applicants must ensure all their email and phone contact information is correct. Program staff urge you to check your spam email folders and/or voice messages and respond accordingly.

As of Thursday, more than 96,400 applications have been submitted. About 90% of those are in initial review, final review, pending payment or paid. There are about 25,000 outstanding requests for missing documentation.

To be eligible, households must have incomes at or below 80% of the area median income. The program can help renters with costs starting as far back as March 13, 2020.

For more information, visit TexasRentRelief.com.

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