Strong Demand for Statewide Rental Relief Program and Funds Still Available; Priority Income Group Deadline Extended Due To Winter Storm; Online Application Restored After Temporary Pause
HOUSTON (CW39) The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) is administering $1.3 billion in emergency Federal relief funds to help income-eligible Texans struggling to keep up with rent and utility payments during the pandemic.
Strong Demand for Program and Funds Still Available
- As of today, after nine days of accepting applications, TDHCA has received more than 29,000 requests, totaling approximately $101.8 million.
- More than $1 billion in funds remain available.
Priority Income Group Deadline Extended
- TDHCA is prioritizing applications for two types of households:
- Those at or below 50% of the area median income level; and
- Those where one or more members are currently unemployed and have been unemployed for at least 90 days.
- Due to weather-related storms last week, the priority group deadline is being extended from February 28 to March 8.
- After March 8, all qualifying applications will be processed based on the order in which they were received until all funding has been committed.
- Households must have incomes at or below 80% of the Area Median Income and meet several other criteria to qualify. (Full eligibility details at TexasRentRelief.com)
- To apply for aid, visit TexasRentRelief.com or call 1–833-9TX-RENT (1-833-989-7368).
- Landlords can also apply with tenant approval.
Online Application Restored After Temporary Pause
- The online application for Texas Rent Relief is back online after being temporarily paused for approximately 24 hours beginning the afternoon of February 18 to address an isolated incident with the utility assistance portion of the online application system.
- At least one person who applied for utility assistance was able to view other utility assistance applications after following a very specific set of actions.
- Of the more than 45,000 total account registrants, 67 individuals’ information was potentially able to be viewed.
- Upon learning of the issue, the website and all application access were immediately disabled so the cybersecurity team could launch a full review.
- All potentially impacted applicants were notified and have the option to receive one free year of identity theft protection services in addition to receiving information on how to set up credit monitoring and fraud alerts.
- TDHCA has reported the incident to the Texas Department of Information Resources, as required for all state agencies.
- The online application system was only turned on again for user access after extensive testing and validation.
TDHCA is confident this is an isolated incident and the issue has been resolved.