Harris Co. Judge Hidalgo creates $15 million relief fund for low-income families

For a lot of Houstonians, the $1,200 check from the federal government was a Godsend.

"We got blessed with the stimulus check and I was able to pay my rent and my utilities," said Shavonne Leon. "As long as that was taken care of I was fine."

"Like many others, we were hoping to lean on that to catch up or pay ahead just be a little prepared," said Steven Riveria.

Even though he qualified financially for the CARE Act money Riveria didn't get a dime from Uncle Sam.

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"We are what's called a mixed family status household," Riveria said. "Me and my kids are legal but my wife is not."
Riveria thought filing his taxes jointly with his wife would help in her bid to get legal status.

Instead, it bit him in the you know what.

"If I'm legal my kids are why should we be discriminated against over one legal status," said Riveria.

"The priority is folks who won't qualify for any other kind of federal relief but we are looking at the hardest-hit families," said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

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The County Judge says there are a lot of low-income families in desperate need of a financial lifeline.

"We've committed $15 million to the neediest families and individuals who need direct financial assistance for help paying rent, paying bills," Hidalgo said.

The county attorney is looking over the legalities of the program before it can be a done deal.

We will, of course, let you know how to apply for help once the program is up and running.