Houston-area renters have just few days left to apply for $60M rent help in COVID-19 pandemic

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Monday, August 31, 2020
Houston renters have 3 days left to apply for $60M rent help
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With the extension of the rent relief program to Sept. 2, some changes have been made. Press play to learn about what that can mean for those applying.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Apartment renters in Houston and Harris County have just a few days left to sign up for the joint city-county rental relief program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials extended the deadline for both landlord enrollment and tenant applications to Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. They are particularly looking for people with low income, those who are economically vulnerable, and anyone behind on past due rent.

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. Households will receive up to $1,900.

Originally launched as two separate programs on Aug. 17, the joint city-county program is expected to help about 30,000 tenants, according to the Harris County Commissioners Court.

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 $60 million available for rental assistance, $20 million from the city of Houston and $40 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.