RENT assistance program for Austin tenants affected by COVID-19. Applications open May 4-6.

RENT (Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants)

Applications for May RENT program closed Wednesday May 6th at 11:59pm. For other Housing Resources and information, visit www.austintexas.gov/housing-resources

To help Austinites at risk of losing their rental housing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Austin has put together a one-time Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) rent assistance program lottery.

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Who’s eligible?

Applications for May RENT program closed Wednesday May 6th at 11:59pm. For other Housing Resources and information, visit www.austintexas.gov/housing-resources

The funds will help income-eligible tenants in the City of Austin who:

  • Live in the City of Austin & make 80% of the Median Family Income.
  • Are currently on a lease (signatory)  &  not recipients of other rent programs.
  • Have documentation showing that COVID-19 has affected them financially  (e.g., paystubs, unemployment notice, notice of rent due, etc.).

RENT assistance program income eligibility table

How will the RENT assistance program work?

Applications for May RENT program closed Wednesday May 6th at 11:59pm. For other Housing Resources and information, visit www.austintexas.gov/housing-resources

Qualified applicants will be randomly selected using the Housing Choice Voucher process.  If your application is chosen and qualifies, a check will be issued directly to your landlord by May 15.

The randomly selected qualified applicants will receive a one-time emergency rental assistance payment (subsidy) for their May rent. RENT assistance will be based on the difference between 30% of the applicant’s current monthly household income and the maximum rent subsidy.

The dollar amount of the RENT assistance payment depends on the number of bedrooms in your rental unit. The RENT program will pay the LESSER OF the payment limit for your bedroom size (see table below), or your actual monthly rent amount, minus 30% of your household’s monthly gross income.

RENT assistance program payment limits by bedroom  table

How do I apply?

Applications for May RENT program closed Wednesday May 6th at 11:59pm. For other Housing Resources and information, visit www.austintexas.gov/housing-resources

 

When is it available?

Applications for May RENT program closed Wednesday May 6th at 11:59pm. For other Housing Resources and information, visit www.austintexas.gov/housing-resources

In order to get emergency assistance out as soon as possible, applications for the RENT assistance program lottery are open from 9 a.m. Monday, May 4th to Wednesday, May 6th at 11:59 p.m.

Example Calculations | Family of 4 in a 3-bedroom house

A family of 4 lives in a 3-bedroom house.  The head-of-household was laid off because her employer downsized due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

The family now has a gross monthly income of $2,083. The family has a lease with a monthly rent amount of $1,600 in Austin, TX.

This family qualifies for the RENT program.  The rent assistance would be calculated as follows:
 

Gross monthly income 

$2,083 

30% of gross monthly income $2,083 x 30% 

$625 

  1. Current monthly rent amount 

  2. Maximum rent limit for 3 bedroom unit 

$1,600 

$1,400 

The lesser of 1 and 2 

$1,400 

Minus 30 % of gross monthly income 

$(625) 

Total RENT Assistance Payment (subsidy) 

$775 

So, in this example, the RENT Assistance Payment of $775 will be sent directly to the landlord, and the tenant will pay $625 to the landlord for a total of $1,400 for May rent.

Example Calculations | Family of 2 in a 1-bedroom apartment

A family of 2 lives in a 1-bedroom apartment. The head-of-household was laid off because his employer downsized due to the COVID-19 crisis.. 

The family now has a gross monthly income of $1,250. The family has a current executed lease with a monthly rent amount of $1,000 in Austin, TX.

This family qualifies for the RENT assistance program.  The rent subsidy would be calculated as follows:
 

Gross monthly income

$1,250 

30% of gross monthly income $1,250 x 30% 

$375 

  1. Current monthly rent amount 

  2. Maximum rent limit for 1 bedroom unit

$1,200

$1,000  

The lesser of 1 and 2 

$1,000 

Minus 30% of gross monthly income 

$(375) 

Total Rental Assistance Payment (subsidy) 

$625 

So, in this example, the RENT Assistance Payment of $625 will be sent directly to the landlord, and the tenant will pay $375 to the landlord for a total of $1,000 for May rent.

What else can I do? 

Contact your property manager to communicate your situation. Your landlord may offer payment options. Frequent and timely communication is the best course of action

Search local programs to see if you are eligible for temporary, emergency financial assistance. For helpful resources, go to austintexas.gov/housing-resources