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Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program

The Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program Application is Now Closed. The Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program provided up to six months of full rent payment for income-eligible Austin renters who experienced a COVID-19-related income loss.  All funds have been expended and the program is now complete.  More housing resources, eviction information, help with paying utilities and related housing services are available on the Housing Resources webpage.

RENT Program Progress Dashboard

The RENT Program Progress Dashboard provides information about households assisted by the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Program. 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.

The RENT Council District Dashboard summarizes the total number of households assisted and the amount of rent assistance provided for each Council District.

The RENT Application Portal is available in the following languages:

Español  |  Tiếng Việt  |  中文 (简体)  |  中文 (繁體)  한국어Burmese  |  अरबी   |اُردُو

RENT Assistance Program Eligibility

You are eligible for the RENT Assistance Program if you:

  • Live within Austin’s full purpose jurisdiction and make 80% or less of the Median Family Income (MFI) - see chart:
  • Are currently on a lease or contractually bound rental relationship and are not already a recipient of federal rental assistance programs
  • Have documentation showing that you have experienced a COVID-19-related income loss (e.g. paystubs, unemployment notice, etc.).
RENT Assistance Program Benefits

The RENT Assistance Program provides eligible Austin renters:

  • Up to six months of full contracted rent payment for rent incurred between March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.  This includes rent that is due now, rent that is overdue and future rent during this time period.
  • Rent payments are made directly to the landlord/property manager/property owner who is owed the rent.
  • Households are deemed eligible at the time applications are submitted; a month to month certification is not needed to receive rent. 
RENT Assistance Program Application Process

Go to the RENT Application Portal for instructions, how-to-apply video, frequently asked questions, and application assistance available in multiple languages.  Applications can be submitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any smartphone, mobile device, or computer with Internet access until program funds are spent.

Application Process - what you can expect:

  1. Renter has COVID-19 income reduction, difficulty paying rent
  2. Renter gathers all necessary documents for RENT application
  3. Renter applies for RENT application
  4. Renter selected through random selection (If an applicant is not selected, the applicant is automatically placed into the next cycle.)
  5. Renter’s eligibility determined
  6. Landlord’s eligibility determined
  7. City of Austin RENT Assistance Program sends funds to Landlord 
Eviction Info and Help

Information on Eviction Moratoriums

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Steve Adler issued Order No. 20200930-20 that prohibits landlords from issuing notices to vacate except in certain circumstances, locking out tenants, and removing property. This ordinance expires the 61st day after December 31, 2020.

In addition, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled that all eviction filings must include a U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) form where tenants swear that they earn less than $99,000 a year (for individuals), would be homeless if evicted, and have tried to pay rent.

The CDC issued an eviction halt that took effect Sept. 4, and tenants who sign the CDC form cannot be evicted through the end of 2020.


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