$10M in emergency relief ready for Austin-Travis County residents; application process starts next week


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Up to $10 million in emergency relief is headed to Austin and Travis County residents come late September through October in a second round of Relief in a State of Emergency funds. The City of Austin announced it’s holding a phone bank this week to answer questions about its RISE 2.0 program.

RISE 1.0 gave $15 million to 20 nonprofits and social services agencies in May and June, which the city said was then distributed to residents in need. This time around, the city hopes to give money directly to residents who apply and are chosen through random selection.

Those chosen will get $2,000 per household, but there are five requirements someone must meet to be eligible:

  • At or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Resident of Austin or Travis County
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Experiencing hardship related to COVID-19 
  • Have not received other financial assistance in the past 30 days

Austin Public Health expects 4,500 households to benefit from the RISE 2.0 funds.

Application process timeline

Through Sept. 11, interested residents can call (512) 714-6950 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. with questions.

Applications can be submitted from Sept. 14 through 7 p.m. on Sept. 21 online or through the phone bank, which will be open during that time as well. The online form will be available in English and Spanish, and the phone bank will have more languages.

The phone bank will continue to be open for questions from Sept. 22 through Oct. 2.

From Sept. 23 through Oct. 6, the randomized-selection process will be done, and residents will be notified on whether or not they were chosen.

Funds will then be distributed to chosen applicants from Sept. 23 through Oct. 30.

How selected residents will get their funds

If a selected person applied online, they can receive their funds through a direct ACH bank transfer, a virtual prepaid card sent via email, or a mailed prepaid card. Those who choose the bank transfer will get their money sooner.

If a selected person applied through the phone bank, they will get their funds through a prepaid card distributed by El Buen Samaritano.

Additional information

Austin City Council approved a total of $10 million for RISE 2.0 funds in early June. However, the city said about $1 million will be used to fund the distribution process through two third-party organizations.

Organizations El Buen Samaritano and Family Independence Initiative were chosen to handle the application and distribution process online and through the phone bank. FII will also handle the selection process.

For more information about RISE 2.0, people can visit the City of Austin website.

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