The RENT Program was announced on Friday, May 1 at 9:30 a.m. The application period expired on Wednesday, May 6th at 11:59 p.m.
If you submitted your application by May 6th at 11:59 p.m. and have questions about the selection process, please carefully read the frequently asked questions below. You may also send an email to atxRentHelp@hacanet.org or send a text message or call 512-400-4275. The call center will be reachable 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, until May 29th.
Austin’s Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Program provides one-time emergency rental assistance to Austin households experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
The RENT Program was funded by the City of Austin’s Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) and administered by the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA). View the City of Austin’s press conference annoucing $1.2 million dollar funding here: https://austintx.swagit.com/play/05012020-645
Limited funding was dedicated to the RENT program. The need for assistance was far greater than the funds available. Therefore, to allow renters an equal chance to apply, applicants were randomly selected from all applications received between May 4th and May 6th.
View a summary of the RENT Program HERE.
Eligibility is limited to City of Austin households that are at or below 80 percent of the Median Family Income (see table below) who can document a financial impact by COVID-19 and need of rent relief. Applicants must have a current executed lease in Austin, TX and must not be recipients of other rent assistance programs.
Eligible applicants will receive a one-time emergency rental assistance payment (subsidy) for their May rent. The dollar amount of RENT payment (subsidy) depends on the number of bedrooms in your rental unit. We will pay the LESSER OF the RENT payment limit for your bedroom size (see table below), or your actual monthly rent amount, minus 30% of your household’s monthly gross income.
If you are eligible to apply, but still have questions about the process, HACA is here to help. We first recommend you email questions about the program to atxRentHelp@hacanet.org.
You can also text questions in English or Spanish to (512)400-4275.
If email or texting, and the FAQ’s below do not answer your questions, you can also speak to someone in our help center by calling (512)400-4275 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from May 1 to May 29, 2020. Demand is high, so phone lines may be busy at times, so please use the text and email features before calling and we will help you as quickly as possible.
Your (tenant’s) place of residence must be within the city limits of Austin, Texas
You are unable to pay your full rent as a result of a COVID-19 financial hardship
Your household income must not exceed eighty-percent (80%) of the Fiscal Year 2020 Area Median Family Income limits for the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX MSA
There must be a current executed lease between you and the property owner (landlord)
You must certify that your household does not receive any other rental subsidy (Example: Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8), Family Unification Voucher, Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH), Mainstream Voucher, Project-based Section 8, Project-based Rental Assistance, Public Housing, HOME Tenant Based Rental Assistance, Continuum of Care rent subsidy)
Between May 8th – May 29th families will be notified via email if they were selected in the lottery for the RENT program.
We would like to provide the emergency rental assistance as fast as possible. Although it is impossible to determine exactly when the landlord will receive the rental assistance for approved applicants, all approvals should be finalized by May 29th.
If you are selected, you and your landlord will be sent an email requesting required documents. These documents must be submitted by the due date of the email request. Failure to provide the documents within the required timeframe will result in a lost opportunity to receive this one-time emergency rental assistance payment.
Funds are very limited and there is a critical need to distribute funds quickly to families in need. Documents must be submitted by the due date listed on the email request. Failure to provide the documents within the required timeframe will require us to deny your application.
Documents can be returned by email, fax, or smartphone.
We will contact landlords via email/phone. They will be notified by email to provide an Owner Request for Payment form and W9 form.
The RENT assistance payment will be sent from us directly to your landlord for May rent. You will be expected to pay a portion of your rent as well, if you have some income.
We anticipate that checks will be mailed to the landlord or directly deposited into the landlord’s account between May 15th and May 29, 2020.
The dollar amount of RENT payment (subsidy) depends on the number of bedrooms in your rental unit. We will pay the LESSER OF the RENT payment limit for your bedroom size, or your actual monthly rent amount, minus 30% of your household’s monthly gross income. Go HERE for detailed instructions
No. We will contact your landlord and explain how the program works. Your landlord will need to decide to accept this RENT assistance payment and sign some forms. We cannot force your landlord to participate.
Unfortunately, we will have to deny your application. We will notify you if that happens.
Families who applied but didn’t get randomly selected will be notified via email late May or early June 2020, and receive other resource information.
Unfortunately, the need far exceeds the funds available. We anticipate providing RENT assistance to approximately 900-1,000 Austin renters.
Yes! You may contact the Housing Authority of the City of Austin by texting or calling 512-400-4275 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from May 1 to May 29, 2020.
You may also email any questions to atxRentHelp@hacanet.org.