Austinites in need of rental assistance can still apply
Austin, TX – A progress tracking dashboard for the 2021 Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Program is now live.
Since the launch of the updated program in March of 2021, the City of Austin has provided nearly $7.7 million in total rent support to over 1,384 low-income households unable to pay rent and impacted by COVID-19.
The 2021 RENT Program Progress Dashboard is accessible from the RENT Data – Program Progress Dashboards section of the RENT Program webpage. The dashboard tracks the updated RENT program’s progress and reports data on how funds are being distributed. Additionally, the dashboard provides aggregate data on the distribution of rent assistance to households served including the total amount and median amount of rent assistance, median family incomes, household size, number of children, geographic distribution of assisted households, and the race/ethnicity, sex, veteran status, occupations and disability status of the head of household.
Preliminary data shows an upward trend of assistance for Black/African American households over the 2020 program. Further, households assisted receive an average monthly rent payment of $1,195 for an average of 4.84 months.
Click here to view the online dashboard.
The RENT Assistance Program continues to provide a safety net for vulnerable households and families who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. The program allows recipients to stay safely and stably housed by providing up to 15 months of total rent assistance. Program participants continue to share how the program is impacting their lives:
“We greatly appreciate this. I cannot thank you enough,” expressed one recipient. “Looks like by July our work situation will be greatly improved as things open up again. I have copied my landlord on this and seen that we are approved for May, June and July. Again, beyond grateful and blessed for all of the help you have given us.”
RENT Program Overview
On March 15, 2021, the City of Austin, through the continued partnership from the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA), launched an enhanced version of the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Program. The program, updated for 2021, is committed to providing nearly $25 million in direct rent support for income-eligible Austin renters who experienced a COVID-19-related income loss.
The RENT Assistance Program can help renters financially impacted by the pandemic pay rent as far back as April 2020 until December 2021.
To apply, applicants must meet the eligibility requirements below:
- Have an income of no more than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI);
- One or more members of your household must have either: qualified for unemployment benefits OR provide proof that due to COVID-19 you: have less income, have more costs or bills, or experienced other financial hardship;
- One or more members of your household must demonstrate they: are at risk of experiencing homelessness or their housing situation is uncertain, which may include a past due utility/rent notice or eviction notice OR live in unsafe or unhealthy housing conditions; and
- Live within the City of Austin Full Purpose Jurisdiction boundaries. Applicants can verify using the City of Austin Jurisdictional Boundaries map. The address on the application must be the applicant’s primary residence.
Documents are not required to submit an application. Applicants will be contacted with information on how to submit documentation if the application is selected for eligibility review; however, it may be helpful to start gathering documents in advance.
For additional information, including instructions, a how-to-apply video, frequently asked questions, and other application resources, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/RENT, email AustinRENT@cvrassociates.com or call the RENT Call Center at 512-488-1397 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central-Standard Time, Monday through Friday.
The RENT Assistance Program receives and accepts Video Relay Service (VRS) calls from people who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing. If you speak Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Burmese, Urdu, or Vietnamese, you will be prompted to select your primary language and leave a voicemail when you call the call center. Your call will be returned within 24-48 hours with an interpreter on the line.