HOUSTON - $15 million gone in less than two hours this morning as residents in the City of Houston flooded the signup website looking for assistance with their rent payments.
The portal to get an application in for rental assistance funds was so overwhelmed with about 17,000 people trying to get in. The response showing that more funds are needed.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said in Wednesday’s press conference, “More than 11,000 renters applied today and met the pre-screening eligibility requirements, that’s more than 11,000. And last week around 6,000 landlords signed up to that part of the program. So it opened up this morning at 10 a.m., by 11:30 a.m. the entire $15 million had been exhausted.”
The $15 million the city set aside from the $404 million received from the federal “CARES Act”. Officials know that the need is tremendous in our city. Mayor Turner saying that if $100-$200 million had been set aside, that would have easily been used up.
“That is why last week I sent a letter urging the federal leaders to commit at least another $100 billion to rent relief and $75 billion to homeowners being foreclosed.”
It was a very frustrating morning for applicants trying to through. Those who were lucky enough to submit an application still worried about the outcome. “I’m still a little scared because everything was errors all morning. It took an hour for me constantly refreshing the website to get it in, so I’m wondering if there’s going to be any other hurdles that I have to jump to get this done.“ said Chris Thornton.
If you are part of the over 11,000 that got an application in. Here is what you can expect as outlined by Tom McCasland, the Director of Housing Community and Development “Over the next two weeks Baker Ripley will be confirming these applications. Within two weeks the applicants will receive a pledge letter, and the goal is to have all of the funding out the door, and into the landlords on behalf of the tenants by the end of the month.“
Mayor Turner says if the federal government is not able to give more money, city officials will have to take a look and see what money can be spared from what the city received from “CARES Act”.