Gov. Abbott, TDHCA announce statewide COVID-19 rental relief program

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal

Governor Greg Abbott announced this week that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has launched the Texas Rent Relief Program — the first statewide rent and utility assistance program for qualifying households throughout Texas. This program has been created to administer the more than $1 billion allocated to Texas through the latest federal COVID-19 stimulus bill.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant financial strain on many Texans, and the Texas Rent Relief Program will provide an incredible lifeline to households in need of assistance on their rent and utility payments," said Governor Abbott. "I urge qualifying households to apply for this program once applications open on February 15th. The State of Texas will continue to provide the resources and support for those in need throughout the pandemic."

TDHCA will begin accepting applications for the program on Monday, Feb.15, but Texans can visit  https://texasrentrelief.com/ starting today to learn more about qualifications, required documents, and the application process.

“The pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to many Texas families.  The Texas Rent Relief program is for those Texans who need help to pay rent and utility bills and I encourage those who need it to apply.  These resources will provide support for Texas families who need it while our economy continues to recover," said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick," in a press release statement. 

"Texans have been resilient in responding to COVID-19, and this program can provide short-term assistance to families in need as they emerge from the financial aftershocks of the pandemic," said Speaker Dade Phelan.  "This program is a key component of our state’s pandemic recovery effort and will be essential to the rebound of our economy, workforce, and education system. I am thrilled that qualifying Texas families have an avenue for temporary relief on essential items like rent and utility payments when it truly counts the most."

To qualify, households must be at or below 80 percent of the area median income as well as meet other criteria. Per federal guidelines, TDHCA will prioritize applications for households at or below 50 percent of the area median income level and households where one or more members are currently unemployed and have been for at least 90 days. Landlords are encouraged to apply on behalf of tenants, who must co-sign the application.

Beginning on Monday, Feb. 15 applicants can submit their application by calling 1-833-9TX-RENT (1-833-989-7368) or submitting it online at https://texasrentrelief.com/. The call center will be open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Texas Coronavirus Relief Bill Rental Assistance Program will begin accepting applications for the program on Monday, Feb 15.