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Travis County housing assistance program pauses new applications

Applications for Travis County renters and homeowners opened March 1 on the County website.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — Following direction from the Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, March 8, the local Health and Human Services Department (HHS) as of march 16 will begin pausing the acceptance of rental and mortgage assistance applications.

Since launching on March 1, the department has received nearly 4,700 applications. If funding remains after all applications are reviewed, the HHS will begin accepting new applications. The available $9,155,552 program is funded through Travis County’s general fund and the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (LFRF) provided under the American Rescue Plan Act.

Eligible applicants must live in Travis County and have a household income that doesn't exceed 250% of income levels outlined by the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines per household.

Both homeowners and renters can apply. Applications opened March 1 and were previously to be accepted through Sept. 30, or until all funds are distributed. Last year's Emergency Rental Assistance Program provided more than $18 million in rental assistance to more than 4,000 households.

“Travis County recognizes there is still a great need for rental assistance. We remain committed to prioritizing and serving our most vulnerable communities,” said Pilar Sanchez, county executive for Health and Human Services. “This program will help families remain in their homes and ease some financial burden as they continue to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and housing affordability issues.” 

Applicants must include a photo ID, proof of household income for the past 30 days for all members of the house, a current lease or mortgage statement and a landlord or mortgage lender's signature on the form provided by Travis County Health and Human Services Department.

Families can apply at the county website or request a paper application from a county community center. If applications are approved, payments will be made directly to the landlord or mortgage company.

RELATED: Hays County hires outside manager to run Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The payments will help with up to three months' rent or mortgage, but assistance will not exceed what's owed within 30 days. Monthly payment will also not exceed the average city rents as of Jan. 1, which are as follows:

  • Efficiency: $1,334
  • One bedroom: $1,500
  • Two bedrooms: $1,900
  • Three bedrooms: $2,395
  • Four or more bedrooms: $2,795

RELATED: Eviction protections for Travis County renters extended through March 1

The LFRF funds are provided through the American Rescue Plan Act, which was created to help State, local and territorial governments navigate negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic. 

Renters in Travis County needing aid can contact Texas 211, a free social service hotline available 24/7. They can call 211 or 877-541-7905 or visit www.211texas.org. The United Way for Greater Austin can also connect renters to resources.

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