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Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Program To Launch August 19

Another round of rent relief is coming to the citizens of Austin from our city government. Please share this with your employees and staff who are struggling to pay rent due to reduced income caused by COVID-19. A full explanation of the program and program requirements is below from the City of Austin “Recent News” email:
“The City of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department (NHCD) and the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) are launching the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program, a $17.75 million program providing $12.9 million in direct rent support for income-eligible Austin renters who are financially impacted by COVID-19.  The RENT program will also offer related support for tenant stabilization, eviction prevention and direct community outreach.
The RENT Application Portal will open Wednesday August 19, 2020 at 8:00a.m. (CST) and remain open through January 2021, or until funds are expended.  Eligible renters may submit their application for random selection.  If selected and the application qualifies, a payment will be issued directly to the landlord in the full amount of the contracted rent.  All applications, regardless of when they are submitted after the initial opening of the application period, will be given an equal chance for random selection.
One month of paid rent may be available to households whose income is between 30 percent and 80 percent of the Median Family Income.  Up to three months of paid rent may be available to households whose income is between 0 percent and 30 percent of the Median Family Income.
“The City and Housing Authority are thrilled to be able to offer this critical support to help Austin renters stay in their homes during this difficult time,” said Michael Gerber, CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin. “Mayor and City Council provided much needed funds for this emergency rental assistance program as a critical step in assisting with the financial impacts of COVID-19 in our community.”
NHCD Director Rosie Truelove “We are thrilled to partner with HACA to move funds quickly to help as many Austin renters as possible, recognizing that while the $12.9 million provided by the RENT program is not enough to meet the overwhelming need, it is a proud step we can take to help Austin renters in need.”
The Austin Apartment Association Executive Vice President Emily Blair shared support of the RENT program stating “Austin Apartment Association members work closely with our renters in the community to help connect them with resources and meet immediate needs.  Working together, the RENT program will provide much-needed assistance to Austin renters impacted financially by COVID-19 and help keep Austin’s supply of rental housing intact.”
RENT Assistance Program Eligibility Requirements:
• Applicants must live within Austin’s full purpose city limits;
• Applicant household gross annual income must be 80 percent or less of the Median Family Income (See income chart below)”