AUSTIN, Texas — The Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to approve the allocation of $10 million dollars in rent, mortgage, and utility assistance on Tuesday.
"We're really grappling with trying to maintain some kind of system that is more humane and that at least tries to support people so they don't become homeless, they don't go hungry," said Travis County Commissioner for Precinct 2 Brigid Shea. "I think it's really important for people to understand that the county really is a provider of last resort. When people are really desperate, this is part of what Travis County does for you."
The rental assistance will be available to Travis County residents living outside the city limits of Austin.
The allocated $10 million comes from the $61 million the county received from CARES Act. It will be at 250% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG) with the intention that up to three months of 100% fair market rent or mortgage threatened foreclosure will be available.
“I would suggest we move as quickly as possible on rent and mortgage assistance because we don’t want people to be out on the street,” said former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt. “We also want to keep some dollars flowing through the economy and this is one way to do it.”
"We provide rental assistance; we provide utility assistance; we provide food assistance. There's limits, obviously, on the funding that we have to do that, but we are very committed to try and support the community in any way we can in our limits," said Shea.
As the county runs the rental assistance program, this $10 million will supplement the existing fund that awards grants on a rolling basis. Eligible residents may apply through the county’s Health and Human Services website.