TEXAS, USA — The Lone Star State has $96 million on hand to help Texans pay their rent.
"Rents have gone up over 17% in the Temple, Killeen area," Barbara Bozon, Executive Director at Central Texas Housing Consortium, said. "The total amount that our residents have received was $329,534.85."
The Texas Rent Relief (TRR) application portal will open Tuesday, March 14 at 8 a.m. and closes on Tuesday, March 28 at 11:59 p.m. Applications can be filled out through their website. Those interested can also call 833-989-7368.
There are a few qualifications Central Texans need to keep in mind, though.
Bozon says people must be 80% or below the median income. For a family of two, that happens to be $46,300. For a family of four, it's $57,850. It depends on the family size. To see if you qualify, click here.
The TRR is prioritizing people who are under eviction as well.
There's other ways people can get the help they may need.
The Central Texas Council of Governments says we are considered to be in a housing-distressed area, meaning there is a shortage of affordable housing. They are re-opening their very own application process, which is a waitlist for the housing choice voucher.
They are bringing in 400 families who have vouchers. They will actively look on the housing market for a rental property. This will open up space on their wait list for future patients.
To get on this list, there is a pre-application on their website. The next step is a voucher briefing interview where people come in and go through income verifications and required documents.
Central Texas Council of Governments Executive Director, Jim Reed, AICP, says it's important to be patient throughout the process.
"Four hundred people may be from out of town and may not be able to make it in for the voucher briefing that we're going to have," Reed said. "We keep going down that list regardless of the number until we fill the number of vouchers we're going to put on the street. In order for us to get 400 good names that come in for their voucher briefing, we may have to send out invitations to the first 2,000 people."
He also adds that the vouchers can be used anywhere.
"They can be used in a single-family home," Reed said. "They can be used in an apartment, they can be used in a manufactured home, they can be used in a townhouse, a condo."
Bozon recommends applicants make their landlords partners in the application.
"Maybe there's a document you can't put your hands on," Bozon said. "Your landlord probably can. Since the landlords also benefit you know, they don't generally want people to have to be evicted, they will work with you."
For more information on if you qualify for the housing choice voucher, click here.