Houston City and the Harris County of Texas have come together to offer $159 million in rental and utility assistance to households who are going through economic hardships during the Covid-19 pandemic times.
There will be two central agencies who would be tasked with the responsibility of distributing the funds; and they are – BakerRipley and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
The Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program will facilitate those families and households who have a median income of less than 80% of the Texas Median Family Income. This facility would be for the tenants as well as the landlords. The landlords who need financial aid would need to register their property for the program beforehand.
The applications received until 1st November 2022 will be processed by them. If there is fresh availability of funds, the application will reopen again.
How to Apply for Harris county recovery assistance?
First and foremost, the landlord should enroll in the program and register their property at houstonharrishelp.org/landlords. The tenants can choose their landlord and apply at hhccommunity.force.com/tenant/s/.
If the landlord does not register his/ her property, then also the tenants can apply online by furnishing some information like the house number, location, street address, etc.
The landlord needs to furnish a lot of information and once done will get a confirmation. The prompts given on the screen must be added in the relevant segments.
They can specify the amount of rent due and upload supporting documents along with proof of income and Covid-19 financial impact.
After the application is approved, the landlord will be cross-verified for the past, due to rental amount, and then both the tenant and landlord will receive a “confirmed pledge” mail that would specify the approved amount of assistance. The assistance amount will be directly credited to the landlord’s account.
Here are the eligibility & requirements for Houston-Harris County EMRA Program:
- Applicants must be legal US citizens or should have resident status.
- They should be having a valid state or federal identification and Social Security Number.
- Applicants should be residing in Harris County.
- The applicant should be the head of the household or family.
- Applicants must have a valid lease or mortgage statement.
- The household’s income must be below 80% of the Harris County median income.
- They must provide proof of income and financial hardship such as 30 days of paycheck stubs or workmen compensation letter, etc.
- The landlord or mortgage company should agree to the terms & conditions of the Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program and agree to guarantee residency for the next month.
- The eligible applicant must provide a W9 form from the landlord, apartment manager or mortgage company.
How to check Harris County rental assistance status?
Harris county rental assistance application status can be checked online on the website www.houstonharrishelp.org.
The Harris County 1500 assistance is for those families who are unable to pay their housing rent, mortgages, and utility bills due to financial crisis.
You can contact them at the hotline number 832-402-7568. The call center is open from 9 am to 6 pm (Monday to Friday). On Saturdays, they are open from 10 am to 2 pm.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Does Harris County still give out rental assistance?
Harris County is stopping to accept applications for an indefinite period starting at November 2022. But they are always on the lookout for different types of agencies to help them fund the rent of those who cannot afford it on their own. They approach federal, local, state, and other different types of agencies for monetary back-up.
What is the amount that comes from Harris County Relief Fund?
People can expect a total of $1500 as a single payment if and when people have trouble paying their rent. If you meet their eligibility requirements, you can expect to receive 15-18 months of assistance.
How to withdraw from Harris County Relief Fund application?
If you got a job that pulls you out of the poverty level or is capable of supporting you with more cancel your funding. Those who think your withdrawal from the relief fund can support someone else, you can write to [email protected] email ID. Mention the reason and your whereabouts and they will stop sending money to your landlord from the next month onward.
Harris County application ended on 31st October 2022 and they are no longer accepting applications from the first of November. However, if there is someone who has already applied they can get their application verified and processed accordingly. Though they have closed now for an indefinite period, there is no reason they won’t open it again anytime sooner. Thus, reading about it, if you are in Harris County is a way to be prepared for the next time.