Travis County requesting more money for emergency rental assistance

Travis County

AUSTIN (KXAN) — More help could be on the way for people struggling to pay rent in Travis County. County commissioners voted Tuesday to request additional money from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

Travis County has previously received more than $10.5 million in ERAP funding. It is requesting an additional $7.7 million which will be redirected from other large cities or counties that did not hit requirements put forward by the treasury.

The treasury required a certain amount of ERAP money needed to be in the hands of people in need by Sept. 30. For large cities and counties that did not meet the requirement of having a certain percentage of that funding allocated by the end of September, money will be reallocated to governments that did.

Travis County has met the requirements set forward and is now requesting some of that reallocated funding comes here.

“The work continues and approximately 1.5 (million dollars) in rental assistance is in our current payment process,” Sherri Fleming, county executive for health and human services, told county commissioners during court Tuesday. “We are averaging about 750,000 (dollars) a week in rental assistance payments going out.”

The money requested would allow that process to continue for roughly four more months.

Fleming also noted that because Texas and the City of Austin closed their application process for ERAP funding, the number of applications to Travis County’s ERAP could go up. Fleming said those programs are still assisting people, just not accepting additional applications.

“We need a couple weeks to really see the impact of these programs taking a pause,” she told commissioners.

While the application process has been laid out by the treasury, when the funding will actually be available to county staff for distribution is still unknown, Fleming said.

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