According to recent reports, the U.S. Department of Treasury will reallocate Emergency Rental Aid (ERA) money to Texas and local rental assistance programs totaling approximately $90 million.
The Texas Rent Relief Program (TRRP) has been given about $47.8 million, and $41.9 million will go to eight regional programs in Austin/Travis County, Bell County, Dallas, Houston/Harris County, Lubbock, and San Antonio.
Although the distribution has been made public, the money has not yet arrived, and it is not yet known when it will be given out.
The TRRP has received more applications than it has funding for as of November 2021. As a result, the state has declared that it will process already-filed petitions using the reallocated money rather than accepting new ones, giving instances with impending evictions priority. All applicants who will not get funding will also receive a final notice via email from TRRP.
For Whom Is Texas Rent Relief Available?
An application for Texas Rent Relief may be started by either a landlord or a tenant. The tenant is informed to finish the component of the application after the landlord begins it. The landlord is notified to finish the component of the application after the tenant begins it.
The tenant is still eligible for rental assistance even if the landlord declines to participate (or cannot be reached by Texas Rent Relief). The landlord CAN NOT receive rental aid if a tenant declines to enroll (or cannot be reached by Texas Rent Relief).
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What Criteria Must Tenants Meet in Order to Be Eligible?
You must attest in writing that someone in your household qualified for unemployment benefits OR someone in your household lost their job or experienced significant financial hardship in order to be eligible for Texas Rent Relief. Your household income also must not exceed 80% of the area median income. Additionally, you must certify in writing that you are either at risk of losing your dwelling OR would have to relocate into an unsafe or unhealthy environment if you didn’t receive rental assistance.
What if I’ve Already Been the Target of An Eviction Request from My Landlord?
You might be eligible for the Texas Eviction Diversion Program if you have an active eviction case (TEDP). The Texas Eviction Defense Program (TEDP), which is a component of the Texas Rent Relief (TRR) Program, is for renters who have an active court-filed eviction case and a participating landlord. In contrast to TRR, which can make rental assistance payments even if the landlord declines to join, TEDP necessitates the participation of both landlords and tenants.
The renter can still apply for TRR even if the landlord declines to take part, but they won’t be included in the TEDP. Unless the landlord withdraws their application and refuses or returns the rental assistance payments, the TRR application converts into a TEDP application if the landlord asks for TRR and subsequently pursues an eviction in court.
You can apply for TEDP the same way you would for TRR if your landlord has brought an eviction case against you in court: online at TexasRentRelief.com or by phoning 833-989-7368. To expedite the application process, be sure to include the case number for your court case in the application.
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What Paperwork Do I Need to Provide to Trr in Order to Apply for Rent Assistance?
You must present identification. This can either be a personal ID like a school ID or library card, or it can be a government-issued ID like a driver’s license, military ID, or passport. Along with those documents, you’ll need to show that your income is less than 80% of the median income in the area. Verification is required if you or a member of your family is eligible for another benefit program, such as SSI, TANF, Head Start, or SNAP. A copy of your W2, 2020 tax return, or pay stubs is also acceptable.
Signed certification of financial hardship, any notices of past due rent or eviction, proof of residency (typically your lease), any notices of eviction or notices of past due rent, and a certification that you would have to move to an unsafe or unhealthy environment absent Texas Rent Relief are all required. Additionally, be sure to have this information on hand if your landlord has initiated an eviction proceeding against you. Read the TRR Tenant Checklist for a detailed list of all permissible papers for each category.
What About Requests for Other Forms of Rental Assistance?
Even if you applied for Texas Rent Relief, you can still apply for local rental assistance programs through your city or county. You cannot accept assistance from numerous programs for the same months for the full amount of rent, however, if you have been accepted by more than one program. For different months of assistance or for partial aid up to the entire rent amount, you may use different programs.
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What Occurs When My Landlord Receives Payment?
You ought to be permitted to remain in your flat following payment to your landlord, and any legal action for eviction due to non-payment needs to be dropped. Your landlord must sign a certification form and commit to following the TRR program guidelines in order to directly receive payments. Additional safeguards are provided by these guidelines to stop you from being evicted.
These safeguards include a prohibition on rent increases and new levies during this time from your landlord. After accepting funds from Texas Rent Relief, your landlord also agrees not to evict you for any incidents that occurred before accepting the rental aid and not to evict you for anything less than extremely significant lease violations while you are receiving rental assistance.
What if I Reside in Affordable Housing?
The Texas Rent Relief application procedure is the same, and you can still use it to get the money you need to pay your share of the rent. What happens if I get the money rather than my landlord? Can I use the funds whatever I please?
In the event that you to take part in the program, you might be eligible to receive the funds yourself rather than through your landlord. However, you can only utilize those monies to cover your landlord’s rent. If you decide to move, you cannot use that money to pay your new landlord or for any other purpose.
You must provide the funds to your landlord in order to settle any unpaid rent. You may use the TRR funds to pay into the court registry if you decide to appeal your case if you already had an eviction trial in JP court and were unsuccessful. You must return the funds to Texas Rent Relief if your landlord refuses to accept them and you are not currently engaged in an appeals process. You risk being charged with fraud if you use it for something else.