TRAVIS COUNTY (KXAN) — A local nonprofit and Travis County will work together to help residents facing or at risk of eviction.

A tenant stabilization program with nonprofit El Buen Samaritano will give eligible households financial help. Money can be used to pay approved fees for tenants. 

Program services also include rent assistance, housing costs assistance, relocation coordination, connections to support services and other services.

Travis County commissioners approved an agreement for the program Tuesday.

“What is also important to me is that you’re providing more wraparound services as well because it is not just the home,” said Commissioner Jeff Travillion. “It takes a number of things for a family to be stable.”

About 400 households or 1,000 clients can be helped per year, according to the county. The program also aims to negotiate 250 settlements per year with up to $6,000 per settlement. This includes funding for rent, utilities, relocation and storage. 

The $6.29 million contract will go through September 2024 and will automatically renew through September 2025. The program is funded with Local Fiscal Recovery Funds for pandemic response. 

The El Buen Samaritano program is in addition to Travis County’s rental assistance budget and eviction aid agreements with the Austin Tenants’ Council and Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid. 

This is an expansion of the Austin nonprofit’s current assistance programs. 

Other program goals include reaching 90% of households avoiding eviction and 70% of households keeping stable housing for six months after the settlement. 

Travis County commissioners approved $80,000 in federal funding in January to help 23 families at risk of eviction after an Austin city program ran out of money.