HARRIS COUNTY – Tenants who have missed rent or utility bills due to financial hardship stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic can start applying for relief from the city and county on Thursday (Feb. 25).
The City of Houston and Harris County are working together to provide $159 million in rent and utility assistance to families who are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be distributed by two agencies with established experience in helping people in need: BakerRipley and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
To apply, residents must make less than 80 percent of the area median income, $63,050 for a family of four in Houston. They must have suffered financial hardship due to the pandemic and demonstrate housing instability. The qualifications and relief structure were set by guidelines from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The funds will not be disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will go to people making less than half the area median income — about $39,000 for a Houston family of four — and who have been unemployed for 90 days. Organizers expect the program to be open for several months.
More information about the application process is available at HoustonHarrisHelp.org/renters.
(Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program)