Deadline to apply for Austin’s COVID-19 rental assistance program is noon Tuesday


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Rent help will soon be on the way for about a thousand Austin residents struggling during the pandemic. But in order to be eligible for Austin’s emergency rental assistance program, you have to file your application by 11:59 a.m. Tuesday and meet specific income requirements. The city then will choose people at random.

The city’s Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants rental assistance program has nearly $13 million available to help income-eligible Austinites pay for housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The RENT program has helped thousands of local families to avoid eviction for non-payment of rent, allowing them to stay in their homes where they can be safe during the pandemic,” said Michael Gerber, Housing Authority of the City of Austin president and CEO. “We strongly encourage any low-income Austin renters who need rental assistance or are at risk of eviction to apply for this program.”

Households that have a gross income of 80% or less than the median family income and live in Austin’s full jurisdiction are qualified to apply for the assistance. For the exact dollar amount, the city provided this chart that shows the maximum eligible income depending on how many people live in the home:

People living in the household123456
Annual income at 80% of MFI$54,700$62,500$70,300$78,100$84,350$90,600

For example, if a household of four has a gross income of $78,100 or less, they are qualified to apply for the RENT program, the city says.

Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Applicants must be currently on a lease or in a contractually bound rental relationship;
  • Applicants must not be already receiving federal rental assistance;
  • Applicants must not be a full-time student whose rent is paid by someone else; and,
  • Applicants must provide documentation showing that you have experienced a COVID-19-related income loss (e.g. paystubs, unemployment notice, etc.).

To date, the city’s Housing and Planning Department along with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin have given out more than $10 million in assistance since August to more than 3,000 families, the city said.

Once Tuesday’s deadline passes, the random selection process will take place.

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