AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) reopened the Texas Rent Relief (TRR) application portal from March 14-28.

It is accepting new applications for the remaining $96 million in rent relief funds. The TRR application portal goes live Tuesday, March 14 at 8 a.m. and ends Tuesday, March 28 at 11:59 p.m. to help eligible households with rent and utility payments.

A couple of people reached out to KXAN Tuesday morning saying they’ve had issues with the website Tuesday morning.

TDHCA told KXAN there were delayed load times and it received more than 4,000 applications in the first 45 minutes of the portal opening.

“Some people are unable to access or start a new application, or are experiencing delayed load times,” the spokesperson said. “If they’re not able to access the application system at this time, check back throughout the day and try again using the ‘Apply Now’ button.”

TDHCA said to save your application frequently and use the tenant checklist to make sure all required documentation is sent with your application.

Applications can be also made over the phone for first-time or additional program assistance by calling (833) 9TX-RENT (833-989-7368).

The customer service line is also experiencing a “high call volume,” TDHCA said.

First-time TRR 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.

Returning applicants who have not received the maximum allowed 18 months of assistance for rent and/or utility bills can submit an Additional Funding Request via their existing online user account. Applications will be processed in the order received, and priority would be given to those facing evictions.

“To date, Texas Rent Relief has served more than 316,000 households affected by the pandemic,” Bobby Wilkinson, TDHCA executive director, said. “We continue to see a strong need for assistance, and eviction filings statewide have now returned to pre-pandemic levels.”

Wilkinson advised those who will be applying to review program requirements now, to gather all the necessary paperwork ahead of time and be ready to apply on March 14.

Once an application is submitted, applicants are urged to be on the lookout for emails or calls from TDHCA asking for additional application information. Failure to respond will delay the application review and timeline for approved payments.

If you are already facing eviction, the department said you should seek legal assistance, attend the eviction hearing and stay in communication with your landlord and the court. Texas Law Help is recommended by TDHCA for free of low-cost legal assistance.

Since the program launched in February 2021, TRR has provided over $2 billion in emergency funds for rent and utility relief. It has served 250 Texas counties and prevented evictions for over 21,000 households.