In late January 2023, Local Profile reported that starting this March, the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture planned to cut SNAP’s COVID-19 emergency benefits, adding even more pressure on families who are struggling with rising rents and inflation pushing up prices.
Now, with a remaining $96 million in rent relief funds, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) re-opened the Texas Rent Relief Program (TRR) and online applications through the portal will be accepted for a limited time from March 14 to 28.
The program was originally launched in February 2021 and is administered by the Emergency Rental Assistance Program Funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, a federal effort to mitigate the affordable housing crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the TRR portal, the program provided over $2 billion in emergency funds since its launch, helping more than 310,000 Texas families remain stably housed during the pandemic.
First-time applicants may be eligible for up to 18 months of aid with rent and utility bills. Depending on each applicant's needs and eligibility, this could include past-due payments or a combination of past-due and up to three months of current and future payments made on their behalf.
Applicants that have received help from the program before but have not received the maximum of 18 months of assistance allowed, can submit an additional funding request using their existing online user account.
All applications will be processed in the order they are received, giving priority to those households facing evictions. According to CW33, TDHCA executive director, Bobby Wilkinson advised those applying to gather all necessary paperwork ahead of time to have them ready by March 14, 2023, when applications will open.
Once the application is submitted, applicants need to remain alert for emails or calls from TDHCA’s representatives who could ask for additional information. Failure to respond would only delay the application process.
While applications can be made online through the program’s portal, the TDHCA call center at (833) 9TX-RENT (833-989-7368) will be available to submit applications over the phone.