HOUSTON - Officials say 20,000 Harris County families will each receive a $1,500 payment as part of a new $30 million COVID relief fund.
The application for the Harris County Recovery Assistance program opens on Wednesday and will close after two weeks, on August 11.
According to the county, the program is sourced by funding from the American Rescue Plan Act and will help families still struggling with the pandemic’s economic effects.
The one-time payment can cover any type of urgent expense like housing, groceries, utilities and medical bills.
Unlike the Houston-Harris County Rental Relief Program, which is still in operation, the money will go directly to applicants and not to landlords.
Officials say the two programs are not mutually exclusive, and those who applied for the rental relief fund can still apply for this new program.
According to the county, the program is not first-come, first-served and prioritizes applicants in the lowest income bracket.
One payment will be made per family unit. If housing is shared by more than one family unit, each family unit may apply.
To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Live anywhere within Harris County
- Be at least 18 years old
- Self-certify that they have experienced pandemic-related economic hardship
- A member of the household must receive public assistance, or the total household income must be less than 60% of the HUD Area Median Family Income
- As required by federal guidelines, at least one adult member of the household must be a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, refugee, or other qualified noncitizen.
The application will open online Wednesday at HarrisCountyRelief.org. The website also has more information on eligibility requirements.