The City and our partners want to help those who are renting or in a home access the help needed to stay there. In addition to pre-existing safety net programs, new efforts are in place to prevent people from becoming homeless.

Safety Net Resources

RENT: Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants

The RENT Assistance Program helps renters impacted by COVID-19 by making payments directly to the landlord/property manager/property owner who is owed rent payments. The application portal opens on March 15th at 8:00 a.m. CST and it will remain open through December 31, 2021, or until funds are spent. 

Affordable Housing Finder

Looking for new housing options? The City created an online search tool to help you find affordable options for your family.

(Current as of 5/18/21)

Accessing Food

Up-to-date information about food assistance during COVID-19 is available through 2-1-1 and ConnectATX.  

The Central Texas Food Bank offers assistance to those signing up to receive SNAP benefits. 

Rent and Utility Assistance

The City of Austin has extended the moratorium on evictions through September 30, 2020. 

The City of Austin’s Neighborhood Centers are providing rent and utilities assistance (512-972-5780), and the Travis County Community Centers are also providing rent and utilities assistance.

The first thing a tenant should know is that a Notice to Vacate is not an eviction.  A tenant does not need to move out merely because the tenant receives a Notice to Vacate from a landlord and a tenant does not violate the law by not moving out.  A Notice to Vacate is simply a demand for possession of the property for a substantial breach of the terms of the lease. If a landlord wants to evict a tenant, the landlord must give proper notice and follow the correct steps in the judicial process.

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program is managed by the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) to help low-income families (at or below 50 percent of the Median Family Income) by providing rental subsidies and case management support services. For more information, visit the HACA website or call at (512) 477-1314.

Travis County Family Support Services provides rental assistance, but limits that assistance to once every 12 months and requires the applicant to register for workforce development, education, or job training services. 

Advocacy Outreach administers state grant funding to help people experiencing homelessness pay for moving expenses or security deposits. Other financial aid, loans, or grants may be issued for rent or energy bills. For more information visit any of the organizations listed below:

Immediate Housing Needs

JP Courts are currently not holding eviction hearings or issuing writs of possessions until after May 8th, but you should still pay your rent if you can.

Neighborhood Housing and Community Development (NHCD) offers information and referrals to assist COVID-19 impacted community members with immediate housing assistance, including: 

INFORMATION ON AVOIDING EVICTION OR PREVENTING DISPLACEMENT Lists resources for legal counseling, alternative housing, tenant relocation assistance, and supportive resources.

HELP PAYING RENT/EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE Makes available a listing of local programs that provide temporary, emergency financial assistance in the form of  grants or loans for utilities, rental expenses and mortgage payments.  

HELP FOR HOMEOWNERS, MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE AND PROPERTY TAXES  Offers guidance and information on refinancing or modifying mortgage loans, lowering payments, or other solutions to avoid foreclosure.  Also, provides property owners on setting up  (or renegotiating) a payment plan for property taxes, or to learn more about available programs, such as homestead exemptions and property tax deferrals for those age 65 and older, persons with disabilities, and veterans. 

Avoiding Mortgage Foreclosure website provides information about refinancing or modifying mortgage loans, lowering payments, or other solutions to avoid foreclosure

Rental Payment Assistance website provides resources to help pay rent and utilities.

Lock-outs:  Your landlord can change your locks for non-payment, but they must give you notice in advance and let you know how much you owe. If your landlord locks you out, they must let you know where you can get the key. They must give you the key even if you have not paid rent. If they do not give you a key, you can go to JP Court to get a writ of re-entry so you can get back into your apartment.

Tenant Rights

Austin Tenants Council

For more information on the eviction process, please refer to Austin Tenants Council’s fact sheet on evictions:

Online counseling services can be accessed here:

Fair housing concerns may be reported here:

Clients may also call our administrative line and leave a message for assistance: 512-474-7006. We are trying our best to ensure a return call within 24 business hours or less.  Please tell your clients that our calls may be coming from an unknown number.

Please remember that we are still providing services, though remotely. 


Go back to the Homeless Strategy COVID-19 Support page.

Go to the City of Austin COVID-19 Information page.