Editor’s Note: The above video is a KXAN story from March 14 on the Texas Rent Relief portal.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Rent Relief (TRR) application portal will close on Thursday after thousands of applications were submitted within the first 24 hours, according to a news release from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
More than 70,000 applications were submitted, according to a TDHCA news release.
The TRR portal will close at 11:59 a.m., Central Standard Time, the release said.
For comparison, the highest number of applications seen in a single day when the portal first opened in 2021 was less than 20,000, TDHCA said.
Applicants who have started the application process but not yet completed must upload all documents and submit them by Thursday, the release said. However, submitting an application does not guarantee payment.
TDHCA said closing the portal helps ensure program staff can quickly review applications and distribute the remaining funds.
Applicants facing eviction will be prioritized, TDHCA said, as long as their application includes a valid eviction docket number.
Eva Cortez applied for rental assistance and told KXAN she was facing eviction.
She said, without this assistance, she won’t be able to afford her apartment.
“I have a son, too. So I don’t want to be homeless,” Cortez said.
To qualify for this assistance, renters must show they are at risk of homelessness or hurting financially because of COVID-19.
- Past due utility/rent notice(s)
- Eviction notice
- Having to move to unsafe/unhealthy living conditions but for assistance
- Reduction/loss of income/ Increased expenses/financial hardship
- Qualified for unemployment benefits
First-time applicants may be eligible for up to 18 months of rent and utility bill assistance, either with past due payments or a combination of past due and up to three months of current and future payments made on their behalf.
TDHCA said, if you are facing eviction, they encourage you to seek legal assistance, go to your eviction hearing and stay in communication with your landlord and the court. You can visit https://texaslawhelp.org/eviction-referral or call 855-270-7655 for help understanding your options and seeking free or low-cost legal assistance.