AUSTIN, Texas — The City of Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department (NHCD) is providing $1.2 million in emergency rental assistance to Austinites affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to be administered through a contract with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA).
This program, aptly named the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT), will distribute one-time rental subsidies in the form of a lottery system. This will be similar to HACA's Housing Choice Voucher program.
HACA will manage the intake and processing of applications, determine applicant eligibility, and — upon approval — direct payments to landlords to help cover tenants’ rent obligations.
“Funding for this emergency rental assistance is being accessed from the City’s local funds. In this time of pandemic and economic uncertainty, Austin families need the security of safe and stable housing,” said Rosie Truelove, Director of NHCD.
“While we recognize that $1.2 million can only go so far, we are committed to our ongoing efforts to identify and access additional help for these families as soon as we possibly can. Providing this rental assistance is something we can do right now,” Truelove said.
Eligibility is limited to City of Austin households that are at or below 80% of the Median Family Income who can document both a financial impact by COVID-19 and need of rent relief (e.g., paystubs, unemployment notice, notice of rent due, etc.). Applicants must also demonstrate that they are party to an existing lease agreement and are not recipients of other rental assistance programs.