Applications begin for Houston & Harris County rental relief

The application process is now open and combined for both the City of Houston and Harris County rental assistance programs.

Landlords can begin applying this week, tenants next week.
Harris County is providing $25 million in rental assistance. The City of Houston is offering up $20 million.

Tenants can receive up to $2,112 in rental assistance from the City of Houston or up to $1200 from Harris County.


Landlords must apply first, August 17 through August 26th.
But while the application process is combined for them both, the rules are different.

Property owners in Harris County must cancel notices to vacate, give tenants credit for partial payments, cut past due rent by 10%, and not begin an eviction for at least 60 days after September 1st.
Landlords applying for the City of Houston's assistance cannot start an eviction until after September, must accept payment plans, and cannot charge interest on late rent or fees.

"If one tenant at one complex receives assistance, then the landlord is agreeing not to evict anyone in that complex," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

RELATED: Mayor announces $19 million in rental aid to help Houston renters

Only tenants of qualified landlords can apply for the aid, but not all landlords are expected to be able to meet the terms.

"I'm hearing from landlords, 'We're doing all that we can, we're deferring rent, we're deferring payments, we're waiving late fees, but we're now five months into this.'  At some point, it's taking a major toll on landlords," explained Clay Hicks with the Houston Apartment Association.

Tenants can begin applying Monday, August 24th through Sunday, August 30th. Houston based renters must have income below 80% of the area median income or be in a publicly funded program, such as Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, or CHIP.

Harris County tenants must be below 50% of the area median income and not have received other pandemic-related assistance.
You'll need to show proof of your identity, your address, and your rent to apply for either program.

"Really it's meant for the people that are qualified and are making the effort to try to get help. Those are the people that will be protected under this," said Hicks.

Landlords and tenants can apply through

Mayor Turner announced small businesses will be able to begin applying for grants of up to $50,000 starting on Wednesday, August 19 at

Fort Bend rental assistance update

Meanwhile, we've continued to hear from some Fort Bend County residents that they have not received the rental assistance that they say they were approved for.

Mother of four Julia Pena tells us she's worried she could face eviction after waiting for more than two months for rental and utility assistance, despite notices that she was approved.

"The landlord is asking for the last two months of rent upfront because she hasn't gotten anything.  Now I'm just drowning.  And I'm a single mom.  And I'm afraid I'm going to lose my house and I don't know where my kids and I are going to go if I lose my house," said Pena.

We contacted Fort Bend County Auditor Ed Sturdivant, who sent us this statement:

"We have identified where the issue was with this application. We had assigned the eligibility screening for 10% of our applications to one of 4 non-profits. This application was set aside in error along with a few others. Now that our Case Management Team, lead by Fort Bend County Social Services, has identified the issue, they are submitting the rent and utility payments to my office today for processing and payment today.

Now that we have been notified about this type of issue, we will research and ensure any others we find have payment expedited.  This will allow Fort Bend County to continue to improve with the successful Rent/Mortgage/Utility assistance program for the residents that need our help."