HOUSTON – Harris County and Houston residents and landlords can begin applying for rental assistance from the county on Monday after the Harris County Commissioners Court approved a $25 million emergency rental assistance program. The city of Houston also contributed $20 million for the program.
“Our community continues to suffer great economic damage resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, with many people unable to cover basic necessities, including rent,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo in a press release. “This program will bring relief to those across our region who so desperately need it, allowing families to stay in their homes while addressing the collateral impact on property owners.”
Landlords can begin applying on Monday and tenants will have a 7-day window to apply, beginning Aug. 24.
Through this program, applicants who need help with rent and associated expenses for payments or late fees that were incurred after April 1, can apply for a maximum of $1,200 in assistance.
Are you eligible?
To be eligible for assistance through this program, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Landlord must be registered as a program participant
- Landlords must agree to waive all late fees and interest and refrain from evictions until September 2020.
- Based on the location of your residential rental property, you may be eligible to participate in the City of Houston program, the Harris County program, both OR neither. Enter your address here to find out if you do qualify.
- Total household income must be at or below 80% Average Median Income
- Applicant cannot have received other Harris County related COVID-19 assistance or rental assistance through the City of Houston COVID-19 rental program
- Applicant cannot be currently receiving other governmental housing subsidies
“Landlords who are interested in participating in the program must agree to give the tenant credit for any partial payments they have made so far, waive all late fees and penalties, and rescind or cancel any prior notice to vacate, among other requirements detailed on the program website,” officials wrote in the release.
Once the window to apply closes, all the applicants will be entered into a lottery for randomized selection.
“Program funds are limited and only a subset of qualified applicants will receive assistance,” officials wrote. “The $25M of assistance provided through this program is expected to help an estimated 21,000 County households struggling with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. "
When the application window opens, you can submit yours on the BakerRipley website. You will need valid photo identification, proof of residence within the applicable service area (i.e., lease agreement), documentation of lost wages, and a copy of statements showing rental amounts due or a notice to vacate.
WATCH: Turner details the rental assistance program on Monday:
WATCH LIVE: Mayor Turner discusses rental assistance program, COVID-19 casesPosted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Monday, August 17, 2020