Houston-area renters can start applying for $45M rent help

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Apartment renters in Houston can begin signing up today for the city's second rental relief program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since applications opened online Monday morning, officials did not immediately offer a total number of applicants, and so far, no technical difficulties have been reported.

Just a week ago, landlords were able to start opting into the program and have until Wednesday to sign up.

Officials said they are looking for people with low income and who are economically vulnerable.

People whose family earns less than 80% of the median income, which is about $63,000 a year for a family of four, can apply.

ABC13 has received numerous questions from viewers, many of whom are worried about how they'll pay their rent. One example comes from Sylvia: "How can I apply for help?"

Baker Ripley created a portal online for people to apply. Recipients will then be notified if they are selected.

Another viewer, Joe, asked, "If I got rental relief last time, can I still apply?"

Yes, people living in the city of Houston or Harris County who have received rental relief before can still apply.

There is a total of $45 million available for rental assistance, $20 million from the city of Houston and $25 million from Harris County.

"Can I get rent relief for a home?" asked viewer Harry.

Renters living in homes may apply, but landlords have to enroll in the program.

SEE RELATED STORY: Everything you need to know about Houston's second Rental Relief Package

"The first round of the city of Houston funding was first come, first serve," said Rene Solis with Baker Ripley. "This time, we are looking at it differently where everyone can apply, and then, we will select applications based on criteria from Harris County and city of Houston funding."

To learn more about applying, you can find more on the portal here.

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