Texas rent relief program will soon be accepting new applications

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Friday, March 3, 2023
TX restarts rent relief program after shutting down
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Texas' rent relief program was shut down after money ran out, but it's restarting with nearly $100 million that you can apply for soon.

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- After shutting down months ago because money ran out, a state rent relief program is about to restart, but you don't have long to apply.

If you need help with rent or utilities, there's a program with nearly $100 million that you can apply for soon.

"Start gathering your paperwork now," Texas Department of Houston and Community Affairs executive director Bobby Wilkinson said. "Go to the website. Look for the documents you might need."

Starting March 14, the state's rent relief program will take applications, and you'll only have two weeks to apply.

If you're unemployed or were impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can receive 18 months' worth of rent from backpay and up to three months ahead. Even if you've received help in the past, you can apply again.

"Most people that got served before will be eligible again," Wilkinson explained.

This isn't the only thing coming that could help renters. In Austin, there are bills this session that look for ways to help cut rent costs. The legislation would allow people to put an extra housing unit on their property. Bills would also reduce regulations to allow apartments to be built quicker.

"We really just need more units everywhere to keep prices from rising so much," Wilkinson said.

The fate of those bills hasn't been decided in Austin yet, but housing leaders do know money is available to help Texans behind on rent because three years after the pandemic hit, they said assistance is still needed.

"We're seeing evictions rise to levels before COVID," Wilkinson said. "The economy is good. We have good employment. There's always people that are struggling. Different industries have layoffs. We're sure we're going to get enough applicants to spend the $96 million."

About $2 billion in assistance has already helped more than 315,000 Texan families, with more money available now to help even more.

SEE ALSO:

Houstonians face eviction fears as cost of living skyrockets: 'It's just hard'

Houston rent rises 23% in seven years, and experts think it's not going to slow down

Action 13 Renters' Rights looks into the future of rent as costs climb

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