As the COVID-19 pandemic approaches its second full year and rents continue to escalate, tenants are facing more challenges than ever. Many of the interventions that once protected tenants like eviction moratoriums have expired, but there are still resources to help renters navigate these strenuous times.
rental assistance options
The federal Emergency Rental Assistance program provided $46.5 billion in rental assistance through the December 2020 COVID-19 relief package and subsequent American Rescue Plan Act. States, territories and local governments received these funds to disburse on a local level.
In Texas, tenants could apply for assistance through the statewide Texas Rent Relief program. As of January 13th, 2022, 99% of funds available through that program had been committed, and therefore the program is not accepting new applications. But depending on where you live, you may still be able to apply for assistance from your local government.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) maintains a searchable database of local rent relief programs administered by cities and counties. There are 33 such programs in Texas, and the vast majority of them are still accepting applications. In many instances, these local programs provide assistance directly to the tenant and will cover other housing expenses like Internet bills.
get connected to a housing counselor
If you're facing eviction or unsure of what resources may be available, we recommend contacting a housing counselor in your area. We created the Texas Financial Toolbox to link renters and homeowners to HUD-approved counselors in their area. Contact one through that website to understand your options.
We also train housing counselors through our Housing Connection program, and recently we offered a training specifically focused on preventing evictions in times of crisis.
If you're struggling to find assistance or counseling in your area, NLIHC recommends calling 211 or visiting the 211.org website to get connected to local resources for housing and utility assistance.
If you need legal guidance, NLIHC suggests contacting a legal aid attorney through either the Legal Services Corporation or lawhelp.org, both of which serve low-income households.
texas housing stability collaborative
In 2020, TSAHC collaborated alongside a network of partners and launched the Texas Housing Stability Collaborative to promote housing and economic stability by providing training, policy development, and public awareness of resources. If you're interested in being a part of this work, scroll down to the "Join Us" section of the collaborative's website.
On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.