Texas Rent Relief application portal closing Thursday after requests for assistance ‘far exceeded available funding’

Generic photo of a house (Pixabay)

HOUSTON – The Texas Rent Relief Program announced Wednesday that it will be closing its application portal early due to the overwhelming amount of submissions which flooded in just 24 hours after reopening.

A notification on its website read:

“The Texas Rent Relief application portal is closing tomorrow on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at 11:59 a.m. CT. Within the first 24 hours of reopening, requests for assistance far exceeded available funding. Applicants that have started but not yet completed an application, must upload all documents and submit the application before the new deadline. Applicants facing eviction will be prioritized if their application includes a valid eviction docket number.”

RELATED: Rent relief applications reopen: $96M available to eligible Houston-area renters; What to know before you apply

On Tuesday, droves of complaints were made by people saying they could not gain access to the portal. The website also addressed those issues, stating: “We understand some people were unable to access or start a new application while the program experienced a significantly high volume of applications on March 14, 2023. Our team has now resolved these issues. If you were not able to access the application system, we encourage you to now try again. Once in the application, make sure to ‘Save’ your progress often, and use the Tenant Checklist to ensure you submit a complete application with all required documentation. The Customer Service Line is experiencing extremely high call volume. We ask for your patience and encourage you to review our Frequently Asked Questions and Tenant Checklist, which may help answer questions about applying.”

The initial window to apply was slated to be open until March 28.

The program

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs said in a news release that $96 million in rent relief is available for eligible households with rent and utility payments.

First-time applicants may be eligible for up to 18 months of rent and utility bill assistance, either with past due payments or a combination of past due and up to three months of current and future payments made on their behalf.

“To date, Texas Rent Relief has served more than 316,000 households affected by the pandemic. We continue to see a strong need for assistance, and eviction filings statewide have now returned to pre-pandemic levels. We’re thankful for the opportunity to re-open the application portal for two weeks to help more Texas tenants and landlords,” said Bobby Wilkinson, TDHCA Executive Director. “Funding is limited, so anyone who needs help paying their rent and utility bills should review the program requirements now, gather all the necessary paperwork ahead of time, and be ready to apply on March 14.”

Returning applicants who have not received the maximum allowed 18 months of assistance for rent and/or utility bills can submit an Additional Funding Request form on their existing account.

Applications will be processed in the order received, and renters facing evictions will be prioritized.

Click here for more information.

Those facing eviction are urged to seek legal assistance and stay in communication with their landlord and the court. Click here or call 855-270-7655 for options and to seek free or low-cost assistance.

About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 3, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.