Houstonians can apply for rental assistance up to $1,056 for April, May on Wednesday

Houstonians struggling to pay rent may soon get some relief thanks to the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program.

People living in participating properties in the city of Houston can apply Wednesday for rental assistance beginning at 10 a.m.

Eligible tenants can receive up to $1,056 per month for rent still due for the months of April and May 2020.

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A few weeks ago, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the $15 million rent relief fund, which is paid for by the federal CARES Act.

Houston nonprofit Baker Ripley is running the program by distributing funds to landlords. Tenants have to apply for the money.

Last week, the program opened for landlords to complete enrollment, now it's up to tenants.

In order to take advantage of the city's program, tenants must complete an online application for eligibility. If approved, rental assistance will be directly payable to the applicant's landlord, who will then credit the tenant's account.

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Here are the requirements for receiving assistance:

  - The unit you live at has been enrolled
  - You are behind on rent payment for April and/or May
  - You are in good standing other than April and/or May rent delinquencies
  - You cannot pay rent due to economic harm from COVID-19
  - You affirm that either you are currently participating in any of the following programs:

Medicaid • Public Housing Assistance (Houston Housing Authority) • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) • National School Lunch Program (NSLP) • Head Start or Early Head Start • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program • Women, Infant, and Children Program (WIC) • Federal Pell Grant • VA Pension or Disability • Tribal Assistance • Harris Health Gold Card

    OR your February 2020 household income is less than 80% of the Monthly Area Median Income (AMI)


To quickly apply on May 13, here's how you can prepare:

First, check whether your unit is in the Participation Directory. If not, ask your landlord to enroll by sharing this flyer.

Then, confirm your eligibility. To do that you should have the following ready: 

  - A clear electronic image/copy of any photo ID with your name and photo (Examples include: school ID, drivers license, passport, visa, work ID) OR a utility bill in your name (gas, water, electric, cable, phone, internet)
  - Copy of current lease to confirm property name and address
  - Knowledge of rent amount still owed to landlord for April and/or May 2020

You can also preview the application here.

For more information visit the program website here.

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